PETALING JAYA - Sports can be an important source of the country's revenue, says Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek.
"Sports is not just about winning medals, it can become a source of revenue for the country's economy with more sponsorship pouring in," he said during the Asian Jersey presentation ceremony to Naza World as Jelajah 1Malaysia's (Tour of Malaysia) main sponsor yesterday.
He cited cycling as an example. "It is now the country's fastest growing sport."
As such, he said the ministry planned to organise more International Cycling Union (UCI)-approved events to give local racers a chance to score UCI points and raise their profile in the international arena.
"This makes our athletes an attractive prospect for branding by major sponsors," said Ahmad Shabery.
The Tour of Malaysia, an UCI-approved cycling championship was first launched in 1963. It is the country's longest-running race.
The six-day event starts in Kota Iskandar, Johor, on March 8.
Racers will pass six pitstops, covering 1,011km before reaching the finishing line at Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia in Nilai.
A total of 31 teams of six cyclists each will be participating. Among these will be 12 local teams.
-The Star/Asia News Network