Forging friendship through sports
| Mohammad Abdullah |
IT’S not about who wins or who loses but it’s on how you play the game. This has always been the underlying slogan of every sporting event ever played.
However for the 11th Asean Port Authority Sports Meet held in Manila recently among all the Asean Ports Authority Department, the underlying slogan is friendship.
Forging bonds of friendship through sports is the theme of each and every Port Authority Sports meet. The Asean Ports Authority Sports Meet (APA) which is held every three years is one of the highlights of the Port Authority calendar.
Mahadi … Assistant Director of Brunei Port Authority
Othman and Hj Kamal … bronze medal
Previously the sports meet was held every two years. It all began in 1985, when the Asean Port Authority Sports Meet was called the Inter-port Sports Meet, where all the ports in each Asean country would be represented.
Due to the structure in some countries there would be more than one port and there would be numerous teams representing not only their ports but also their country.
In 1987, it was decided that each country would have only one contingent selected from the various ports in their country. Hence the Asean Ports Sports Meet had superseded the Inter-port games.
There are those who had joined the games since its early inception in 1985. Keflee Hj Sulaiman is such a person. He explained that solidarity, unity and security through the bonds of friendship, understanding and cooperation by means of sports activities is what the Asean Port Authority Sports Meet is all about.
In fact since the games, we’ve been fast friends with other port officials from various countries and have kept in touch officially and unofficially throughout the two decades of friendship.
Brunei Darussalam were represented by 50 members of the Brunei Port Department officials, where they participated in golf, table tennis, badminton, mini marathon, ten-pin bowling and futsal.
Assistant Director of Port Authority Department, Brunei Darussalam, Mahadi bin Mohd Yussof who headed the contingent of 50 strong delegates, stated that although the aim of the sports meet was to forge a stronger bond of friendship and cooperation between respective authorities it is still a competition, albeit a friendly one.
“The 11th APA Sports Meet is an important sport for the port community to interact with each other, strengthening the existing friendship among countries and making new ones. Nonetheless, the sports meet in various ways will promote all participants to set aspiration and aims, above and beyond the importance of self-discipline, strength of mind and team work,” he said.
Part of the objective of the APA meet is to give an opportunity between respective port authorities officers and staff in an informal setting, where they could share their experiences as well as expertise and overcoming obstacles and complications on performing their tasks as port officials.
Throughout the seven-day games in Manila, Brunei Darussalam managed to obtain two bronze medals through Zaili Tilah and Ibrahim Yussof in the 5km mini marathon and Hj Kamal Hj Muhammad and Othman Hj Zackaria, in the veterans doubles badminton.
Zaili led the contingent in the march past, proudly bearing Brunei’s national flag, while Ishak bin Diwa was given the honour of carrying the torch that signified the start of the games.
Although Brunei Darussalam did not gain many medals, much of their athletes improved significantly as a result of dedicated training and preparations prior to the games. This shows their determination to do their department and country proud.