Medan, North Sumatra (ANTARA) - Minister of Youth and Sports Zainuddin Amali stated that the XXI North Sumatra-Aceh National Sports Week (PON) will be implemented according to plan and start on September 8, 2024.

"PON will still be held in September 2024," the minister remarked while opening a sports seminar, as part of the 2023 National Press Day (HPN) series, in Medan, North Sumatra, Wednesday.

Amali noted that the schedule for the 2024 PON had been decided through a limited cabinet meeting. In addition, the 2024 general election will not interfere with the agenda of other sectors, including sports.

Moreover, according to President Joko Widodo's (Jokowi's) directives, all sports competitions must run and sole focus should not be on the implementation of the general election.

"We cannot only focus on the general election. Even the president has given me directions that even during elections, the football competitions in League 1, League 2, and League 3 must continue. Thus, anything related to sport must continue to run as part of relaxation as well," he explained.

The minister also remarked that the success of PON is inseparable from the role of the media, especially in spotlighting the preparations before the event until after it concludes.

Governor of North Sumatra Edy Rahmayadi ensured that currently, the PON committee continues to accelerate preparations, including for the construction venue to be completed in June 2024.

"In addition, the role of the press is important, starting from planning, preparation, and implementation, until the end of the event. The press has the responsibility to succeed the PON," he remarked.

Earlier, Head of the North Sumatra Sports and Youth Service Baharuddin Siagian confirmed that in 2023, his side would conduct renovations of several venues as part of PON's preparations, starting from the bowling hall, futsal hall, and swimming pool, to the squash venues.

"Our large sports hall in the Pancing Street area has a capacity of 15 thousand spectators. We will also complete the facility for artistic arts and add lights. For the new one, we will build an athletics stadium in Sena Village and then followed by the Martial Arts Building and indoor volleyball building," he elaborated.

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Translator: Juraidi, Resinta Sulistiyandari
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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