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Archive for January 26th, 2009

KUALA TERENGGANU (NST): The Year of the Ox has brought a lot of luck for a turtle volunteer programme here or maybe showered it with a bit too much fortune!

The Save Our Turtles Outreach Programme (STOP), conducted by Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, recently received more than 700 applications, with over 500 submitted on the first day of registration.

However, only 336 volunteers have been accepted, which is an increase compared with last year’s 215.

STOP, based in Chagar Hutang which is part of the Redang Island, involves gotong-royong, tagging of turtles and in situ egg incubation. It runs from April to October every year.

Apart from the volunteer programme, STOP also has three adoption schemes, namely, terrapin, turtle and turtle nest adoption. Since its inception in 1998, more than 1,000 local and 100 foreign volunteers have participated.

STOP research and public outreach officer Chen Pelf Nyok said she was surprised to see so much interest despite expecting a lot of applications.

“We did not expect so many applications. It took me five hours to reply 100 emails, telling them we had to turn them down as we are overbooked.”

Chen believes the surge in applications is due to good word of mouth though it was unfortunate that they could not accommodate more participants.

As it is, they have increased the number of participants from eight to 12 for each slot. There are 28 slots this year.

However, Chen said, there is never too much of a good thing as more participants mean more people to help raise awareness.

“As the majority of the participants are youngsters, this means we are planting the conservationist seeds early for the future generation.”

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KUALA TERENGGANU, 25 Jan (Bernama) — Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin muncul juara bagi kategori 80 kilometer selepas menewaskan 25 peserta lain pada Kejohanan Kuda Lasak Royal Terengganu Endurance Stable Ride (RTES) 2009 di Lembah Bidong di sini, Ahad.

Baginda, yang menunggang kuda Jakim Murphy, ternyata tidak mempunyai masalah untuk menamatkan perlumbaan apabila mencatatkan masa empat jam 48 minit 11 saat.

Pelumba jemputan dari Australia, Anton Reid, muncul naib juara dengan catatan masa 4:48:20s diikuti oleh Datuk Abdullah Taib dari Institut Sukan Negara (ISN) dengan catatan masa 4:48:29s.

Menurut Pengurus Besar Royal Terengganu Endurance Stable (RTES) Che Mat Din Ismail, keadaan cuaca mendung, hujan renyai dan berangin telah membantu baginda menamatkan perlumbaan lebih awal iaitu dua jam setengah dari masa maksimum yang dihadkan.

Dalam pada itu, Pemangku Raja Terengganu Tengku Muhammad Ismail dan kekandanya, Tengku Nadhirah Zahrah, yang menyertai dalam kategori 40 kilometer masing-masing berjaya menamatkan perlumbaan dengan menduduki tangga ke-14 dan 18.

“Adinda Tuanku Mizan, Tengku Seri Temenggung Raja Tengku Baharuddin, pula menduduki tempat ke-15 daripada 25 peserta yang mengambil bahagian dalam kategori 40 kilometer,” katanya ketika dihubungi di sini.

Pelumba muda Muhammad Alif Sabidi, 15, dari pasukan Terengganu Endurance, menjuarai kategori 40 kilometer dengan menamatkan perlumbaan dalam masa 2:09:41s.

Beliau menerima tentangan sengit dari rakan sepasukan Wan Mohd Kamaluddin yang menduduki tempat kedua diikuti seorang lagi pelumba dari pasukan sama, Ahamad Azura Abdul Ghani.

Seramai 51 peserta memulakan perlumbaan dalam kedua-dua kategori tersebut dan 41 peserta berjaya menamatkan saingan.

— BERNAMA

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