| Mohammad Abdullah |
One of the most significant chapters in our history is sports – yet it resides only in our hearts and minds, in our memories of those glorious days and past victories. There are no mentions of our golden days in football or other sporting achievements in our history books.
It has always been hearsays and stories circulated by word of mouth. Even our most treasured museums do not hold any exhibits or places of honour for our sports heroes and legends.
Until today that is.
The sports gallery situated at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium pays tribute to our sports heroes and legends displaying their achievements and trophies in a small but significant room.
Documentations, videos and pictures of our sporting glories are displayed proudly for all to view and to be remembered for all times.
The sports gallery, situated in the national stadium, is a tribute to all our sporting heroes, in not just football but all sports.
All those gold medals that we have obtained, and all those sporting events that we have participated in proudly representing our great nation, is put on exhibit.
The gallery takes us back to the 1960s, when Brunei took part in the Borneo games. Sporting legends are mentioned with their sports and medals tally.
Celebrating Brunei’s sporting successes continues until today. Para athletes are given a ‘wall of honour’, as those football heroes that have triumphed against all odds not only to win, but to instill pride in our nation’s populace.
Every woman, man and child walked with their heads high that day when Brunei won the Malaysian cup, and it is something to remember.
Royal contributions to sports are also displayed on the walls of our sporting heroes and legends.
The sports gallery may be small, but it is packed with so much history, so much pride in one small room.
A ‘wall of fame’ with all the heroes’ names that have won gold in their respective sports are displayed at the centre of the gallery.
Those who have done their nation proud, those who have given their blood and tears are named as heroes and legends who will be forever embedded in our hearts and minds.
The gallery is not complete however and some very significant sports personalities, such as the first women’s SEA games gold medalist Umi Kalthum who won gold for Silat and sportspersons like Mohd Shamsul bin Makmun, Ali Rashid bin Alifah, Zulhusni Hj Kahan, Rafidah, are not mentioned.
Zulhisni Hj Kahan, who won Gold medal in Test Event Sea Game Jakarta 2013, Ali Rashid Halifah who won Gold in Kempo during Makasar Indonesia 2011, were also left out.
The sports gallery is quite small perhaps and there is not enough space to place them in the many exhibits that are on display.
Nevertheless the sports gallery will help educate and motivate our younger generation to strive forward in sports and to excel above and beyond the call of duty for their country, to challenge themselves to be the best of the best.
We were great once, we can be great again.