PENANG is keen to promote wall climbing as a sport among primary schoolchildren.
State Youth and Sports Committee chairman Soon Lip Chee said the indoor climbing gym workout was one of the new sports to have emerged in the country, particularly in Penang.
He said the sport, focusing on mental and physical strength, agility, endurance and techniques, would attract fitness enthusiasts.
Hence, Soon is already looking forward to developing the sport next year.
“Under my Youth and Sports portfolio, I’m planning to expose the activity to the primary schoolchildren, especially those aged below 10.
“Parents are encouraged to join their kids in the challenge as well.
“It’s something new and I believe it’s a good starting point for the people to try it,” he told Buletin Mutiara after visiting the HangOut Climbing Gym in Jelutong today.
Sport climbing, which is a form of rock climbing, will make its debut in the Tokyo Olympics in July next year after being postponed from this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Soon hopes that wall climbing can one day make its debut in Sukma (Malaysia Games) or Southeast Asian Games (SEA).
During the visit, Soon did not miss the opportunity to try out the wall climbing challenge himself.
He successfully climbed up to the top on his first attempt.
“I’m enjoying it,” he said, adding that this obstacle requires self-concentration to reach the goal.
“Apart from badminton or basketball, which is a common sport, such uncommon sport needs to be promoted to allow people to have variety of choices,” Soon added.
Dr Ooi Ben Shyen, one of the co-founders of the gym, told Buletin Mutiara that the Climbing Gym in Jelutong was the second branch after the first one in Bukit Gambir.
He said they had planned to open the Jelutong branch in March but was forced to extend its opening due to the movement control order (MCO) that started on March 18.
With the recovery movement control order (RMCO) taking place now, he said the centre has received an overwhelming response after it was opened today following the easing of restrictions.
“Our gym is now adopting strict standard operating procedures (SOPs).
“It is a healthy environment for everyone to come and sweat it out here,” Dr Ooi said.
The medical doctor said he had lost weight through wall climbing, adding that the sport was now attracting many enthusiasts.
Also present were another of the centre’s co-founder Ooi Boon Shin and Penang State Sports Council director Harry Chai.
Story by Edmund Lee
Pix by Noor Siti Nabilah Noorazis