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Sarawak enhances tourism through premier pickleball tournament

Borneo Pickleball International Tournament 1

Kuching welcomes 500 players to the Borneo Pickleball International Tournament, spotlighting Sarawak as a dynamic sports tourism destination.

KUCHING, SARAWAK, MALAYSIA – Sarawak is about to make pickleball history with the Borneo Pickleball International Tournament, Malaysia and Borneo’s largest pickleball competition with a prize pool of RM20,000. The Tournament will be held in Kuching from October 9 to 12, with an expected participation of approximately 500 players and 2,000 visitors from the region.

Kuching Pickleball Association is the main Tournament organizer, while BESarawak acts as the Exclusive Strategic Advisor and provides in-kind support to the Association in creating a sustainable and gold-standard international event.

At the Association level, the International Tournament is endorsed by the Malaysia Pickleball Association and Sarawak Pickleball Association. At the Government level, it is endorsed by the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Entrepreneur Development Sarawak, and the Ministry of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Sarawak.

Borneo Pickleball International Tournament 2

Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah (centre) sporting a cap gifted by the Sarawak Pickleball Association led by President Delima Ibrahim.

Pickleball is inclusive across all ages and abilities, fostering interaction among diverse industries and communities. The Tournament is open to corporate organisations, public sectors, associations and clubs, and other communities and individuals interested in joining.

The Honourable Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, Minister for Youth, Sports and Entrepreneur Development Sarawak and Minister for Tourism, Creative Industry, and Performing Arts Sarawak stated that “The International Tournament is relevant for Sarawak to strengthen its destination profile in sports and sports tourism. As the host of SUKMA 2024, Sarawak is already in the spotlight; the International Pickleball Tournament is another strategic opportunity to show Sarawak’s ability to host global sporting events and boost our image as a sports tourism destination.”

With more sports associations developing new events in Sarawak, we attract new investments in sports facilities and infrastructure. Growing and sustaining our sporting communities requires education, engagement, collaboration, and inclusion, as demonstrated in this pickleball tournament.”

Borneo Pickleball International Tournament 3

Ruslan Bujang (left) exchanged the Memorandum of Collaboration with Dato Sri Abang Haji Abdul Karim bin Tun Datuk Abang Haji Openg, BESarawak’s Chairman, at today’s press conference.

As the Exclusive Strategic Advisor, BESarawak’s contribution is to guide the Kuching Pickleball Association in developing a sporting event that can be sustained. According to Dato Sri Abang Haji Abdul Karim bin Tun Datuk Abang Haji Openg, Chairman of BESarawak.“This Tournament can be a recurring event and transformed into a potential legacy for the pickleball community and Sarawak’s sports tourism. The Tournament’s outreach goes beyond the competition itself as the Kuching Pickleball Association partners with us to include the ‘Books Build Legacy’ corporate social responsibility programme with a target of 2,000 book donations in aid of Sarawak’s rural schools.”

Community development is always a priority for us in the industry and the Tournament is a product of collaboration between business events players uniting for change. This is our contribution to developing Associations and major events.”

Ruslan Bujang, President of the Kuching Pickleball Association mentioned “Pickleball is a healthy way of managing stress, living an active lifestyle, and building new friendships and connections. The Tournament is a great opportunity for cross-cultural exchange between Malaysian and International communities; bridging the worlds of sports and education through this tournament, where players compete while making meaningful contributions to local communities.”

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George, in his capacity as an intern, diligently oversees the flow of news, assists in the publication of content, and delves into the strategies of social media distribution. He is currently pursuing his studies in Business Administration at the Athens University of Economics and Business.

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