KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Tourism Board is dedicated to nurturing the sports tourism industry in Sabah, with a strong focus on making the state the ideal destination for family-oriented sports education tourism.
A prime example of this commitment is the ongoing 2023 Malaysia Borneo Football Cup, where 30 junior teams from Australia, the Philippines, Indonesia, and West Malaysia have joined hands with 20 Sabahan teams to participate.
On Wednesday, the Sabah Tourism Board hosted a welcoming dinner for the tournament participants and their families.
Present were state Assistant Tourism, Culture, and Environment Minister cum Sabah Tourism Board chairman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai; Borneo Cup tournament director Scott Ollerenshow; Sabah FC chief executive officer Marzuki Nasir; and Australian football personalities Andrew Paschalidis and Alan Davidson.
In his speech, Joniston stressed that the Sabah Tourism Board recognised the Borneo Football Cup’s potential to draw aspiring footballers and their families to Sabah.
“The Borneo Cup has become a cherished tradition since 2008, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to see it back on the annual calendar now that the challenges of COVID are behind us.
“Looking back, we’ve had the honour of hosting teams from Hong Kong, Thailand, South Korea, and Japan in previous years, and we eagerly anticipate their return,” he said.
Furthermore, Joniston also extended Sabah Tourism Board’s unwavering support to the announcement made by Ollerenshow regarding the plan to organise a Girl Football Tournament in future.
He said this development is monumental, as it underlines Sabah’s dedication to attracting a broader audience in sports and adding to the richness of its tourism portfolio.
“Sabah is thrilled to embrace such an international premier sports tournament. It aligns perfectly with our vision of promoting sports tourism and attracting families who seek a unique blend of sports education and leisure.
“These tournaments are a beacon for aspiring footballers, offering a platform for honing skills and fostering sportsmanship.
“It has become an avenue for not only budding talents but also their families, who can experience the diverse cultural and natural beauty that Sabah has to offer,” said Joniston.