SEREMBAN: The proposed RM80 million covered velodrome announced in the 2013 Budget will encourage youth to adopt cycling as a core sport.
Negri Sembilan Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan said the international standard track would be a boon in developing the sport in the country.
"The velodrome can serve as a platform for the youth to embark in this sport as well as embrace it as a core sport in Malaysia."
Speaking after chairing the state exco meeting at Wisma Negeri here, he said the state government had discussions with the Youth and Sports Ministry on why the country needed an indoor velodrome.
"This is because cycling has become a favourite sport in the country and is an international sport," he said, adding that the velodrone would be built along with the 'Sports City' complex project in Nilai.
"This is also part of developing the area (Nilai) into a sports and education hub under the banner of a 'Vision City'."
He said the velodrome would be equipped with world-standard facilities.
"This isn't just for the state, but for the whole country with Nilai being the best location because of its proximity to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport."
The sports complex, Mohamad said, would also house a stadium and 18-hole golf course, as well as other facilities.
"If we want to be the host of the Asian Games, we must have the facilities to match that standard."
On Tuesday, Bernama reported that Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek had said that the velodrome, which would function as a regional cycling development centre, would be ready before the Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero, Brazil, in 2016.
He also expressed the need for the construction of the velodrome to be expedited in preparation for the Rio Olympics.
Meanwhile, national cyclist Azizulhasni Awang said the velodrome would boost the image of the country as well as earn international recognition.
He said it was long-awaited news for local cyclists, adding that there was a dire need for the country to construct a world-class indoor track.
He said when he was in Malaysia, he trained at KL Velodrome in Cheras where the Asian Cycling Championship was held early this year.
"However, the facilities in the velodrome were outdated, making training risky which could lead to injuries," he told the New Straits Times yesterday.
He said the Cheras velodrome had a 333-metre track, while a 250m track was desirable to meet the world standard.