National Games appreciation ceremony
| Jake Ten |
AN appreciation ceremony for all of the sporting bodies and associations who took part in the Brunei Darussalam National Games last year was held yesterday at the Riadah Hall of the Youth Centre in Bandar Seri Begawan.
Present as the guest-of-honour was Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Hazair bin Haji Abdullah, the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports.
Also present was the Deputy Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Datin Paduka Hajah Adina binti Othman, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, Dato Paduka Haji Mohd Hamid bin Haji Mohd Ja’afar, and the Deputy Permanent Secretaries at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, Awang Haji Ismail bin Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Setia Diraja Dato Paduka Haji Hashim and Awang Haji Abdul Malik bin Haji Mohammad.
Pehin Hazair felt that the National Games represented a step forward for sports in the sultanate, both recreationally and competitively.
“Brunei’s first National Games is the first step in the upgrading of Sports Festival. These national sports championships mark the climax of sports meetings and allow for local athletes to excel as a result of the involvement of athletes from outside the country who have been invited to participate in the competition, which will subsequently promote competition as a whole,” said the minister.
“Brunei’s National Games will help to identify potential athletes who will then become part of the national team setup, and will also be given the necessary guidance, training and exposure for them to push the country forward by participating in more prestigious tournaments, such as the SEA Games, Commonwealth Games and Asean Games,” he added.
Pehin Hazair also touched on the ‘Sports for All’ initiative which the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports is actively promoting and encouraging all of nation’s citizens to lead a more healthy and active lifestyle.
“The Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, through the Youth and Sports Department will continue its efforts to develop ‘Sports for All’ initiative, which will involve the citizens in this country who have been actively involved in sports and recreational activities for benefit of their health and will encourage unity and harmony of the society and help to strengthen family and social welfare activities,” declared Pehin Hazair.
“In addition, the ‘Sports for All’ initiative will be a platform for these talented young athletes and encourage the youth to be more active in sports as well as to develop the tourism and sports tourism industry in Brunei Darussalam,” he continued.
“To conclude, it is hoped that these National Games will become a professional sports meetings and will become more prestigious and comparable to other sporting competitions such as Sukma, Arafura and the like.”
The appreciation ceremony concluded with the minister presenting a representative of each of the respective sporting associations who were involved in the National Games a token of appreciation.
The National Games, formerly known as the National Sports Festival, was introduced by the Youth and Sports Department of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports in 1981.