Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Cycling: Malacca in driver's seat for third velodrome

Arnaz M. Khairul

MALACCA looks set to beat Dungun and Nilai to having the third velodrome in the country.

This is if the Malacca Sports Council succeeds in pushing a plan to convert the worn-out athletics track at the Tun Fatimah Stadium in the city into a basic velodrome.

A delegation from the council was said to have visited the stadium on Friday and indications are that there is a plan for a new surface with medium-height embankments for a 400 metre track.

Malacca Sports Council director Ong Tai Chu said it makes sense to have a cost-effective solution to the woes of development of cycling in the state.

"We'll be proposing this to the state government because the funds for it will have to come from there. But having studied the case I personally am fully behind this proposal because I see it as something that makes a lot of sense," said Tai Chu.

"The Tun Fatimah Stadium, with its running track in that condition, can only be used for football. For athletics, we already have a new track at the Sri Kota Sports School close by.

"So, it makes sense to convert the Tun Fatimah Stadium's running track into a velodrome. The structure is there, we just need to add a cement track and build the embankments.

"The cost will be low, but the benefits will be huge. The development of state cyclists can be done there and it can also be used by all recreational cyclists here."

Malacca coach Fairoz Izni Abdul Ghani, when asked of the prospects, said a basic level velodrome would do development in the state a world of good.

"It is something we are all hoping for. With a 400m track, we can use it for talent identification and development," said Fairoz.

Tai Chu said a decision from the state government is expected in two weeks, although signs are that it will be positive.