Jayapura (ANTARA) - Sports and Youth Affairs Minister, Zainudin Amali, is sanguine that the international-standard rowing arena in Youtefa Bay, Jayapura City, can generate the best local athletes and make Indonesia proud in the near future.

"I hope the government, Indonesia Rowing Sports Association (PODSI), and the community would nurture (the talent in the arena) and utilize it for delivering achievements in Papua's rowing," Amali remarked while reviewing the rowing arena at Jayapura on Friday.

According to the minister, the rowing arena should be used optimally and as a training center for Papua's local athletes and for national athletes.

Moreover, he pointed out that the rowing arena at Youtefa Bay had different characteristics than other rowing training centers located in Java.

"It is possible that national athletes can be brought here to adjust (to the arena). (In Java), the arena type is freshwater, but here it is seawater, so there must be some adjustments," he expounded.

Moreover, Chairman of the Papua Regional Representative Council Jhony Banua Rouw thanked President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) for having built international-standard sports arenas and facilities in Papua.

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According to Rouw, the local government will commit to utilizing the arenas that have been built to develop the potential of athletes.

"I greatly laud the central government, in this case, Mr President Joko Widodo, for having built this extraordinary venue," he added.

The council chairman explained that rowing was one of the sports that was encouraged, as it was Papua's mainstay sport since most local people rowed doing their daily activities.

"Papuans always use paddles (in daily life). Since they were young, they already began using paddles to go to school and bring water from the estuary or water source," he noted.

The rowing arena, constructed during the period from February 2020 to August 2021, is located at Youtefa Bay, Jayapura City. It has a 19,771-square meter reclamation area, with a track area of 1.7 hectares.

The PON XX Papua was opened at the Lukas Enembe Stadium, Jayapura District, on Saturday afternoon.

Related news: Minister envisions bright sports future for Papua following PON

Translator: Asep F, Kenzu T
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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