DUNGUN: Terengganu has been named as the 'The Home of Malaysia Cycling' following the large number of top cyclists it produced.
Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, who made the announcement today, said Terengganu has given the country world class cyclists such as Azizulhasni Awang, Fatehah Mustapa and Anuar Manan who have consistently done the nation proud.
In recognition of Azizulhasni's achievements, Khairy named the new velodrome, set to be built at Kampung Balai Besar, the Azizulhasni Velodrome.
"I chose a design similar to that in Roubaix, France. It will be an international class velodrome and will be built at a cost of RM7 million," said Khairy during his speech at the site of the project.
Terengganu Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Razif Abd Rahman officiated the foundation laying ceremony. Also in attendance was Dungun Development Officer Datuk Din Adam and Dungun District Officer Ibrahim Mohamad.
Khairy disclosed that bicycles will be made available at the velodrome when it is ready and can be used for free by young riders for them to train.
"This velodrome will help Terengganu produce more young riders who can do the nation proud," added Khairy.
"I believe this velodrome will put Dungun on the map but I also hope that this does not become a white elephant."
Khairy added that the project proved that the federal government appreciates the achievements of state governments and also its people.
"Terengganu have not only produced quality cyclists but they have also proven through their achievements at the Malaysia Games, that they are never short of sporting talent which have become an asset to the nation.
"The commitment shown by the administration and the people of Terengganu in making sports a part of their culture can make Malaysia become a sporting nation."
During the event, Khairy also announced a RM1 million allocation to the Terengganu State Sports Council to develop new talent in cycling.