Minister impressed by growing popularity of swimming

|     Fadhil Yunus     |

THE Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin highlighted that he was impressed by the increased popularity of swimming in the country.

“I visited the Anggerek Desa Swimming Pool for the first time after such a long time, and the place was full,” the minister said in his brief remarks during the Brunei Amateur Swimming Association (BASA) Achievement Award presentation yesterday.

“I was quite surprised to see the large number of people swimming in the afternoon,” he said.

“It shows that swimming is a sport that is very close to our society and to the nation especially the youth and young people.”

The minister also highlighted the commitment of swimming athletes which involved the cooperation of parents.

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin during the BASA Achievement Award presentation yesterday. – FADHIL YUNUS

“Every athlete has to make the time and commitment. There are two sports which we put as an example namely swimming and wushu. The training times are outside the working and school hours. This is what you call commitment,” said the minister.

“During the post-mortem of the Youth Olympic Games (YOG), we are very proud of what was achieved during the YOG. I think the achievements of our youth during that competition at that level were very impressive.

“Our swimmers did us and the nation proud due to their commitments and the roles for parents are also important. In fact, we (Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports) share the same commitment to other sports associations.”

A new national swimming coach from China is linked with the position as the minister touched on the need to get the most suitable person for the post.

“We have to get the best coach and we do see this. We have to find the niche sport that can contribute to the nation’s pride and achievement. Gold is our target and we have to get it,” he said.

He also hinted that the timing of selection of athletes competing in the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Manila at the end of the year should allow them to have ample time for training.

“We cannot afford to give one or two months (before the competition), so we need to get this done as soon as possible,” the minister asserted.

The minister also conveyed appreciation to BASA for their hard work as well as congratulated swimmers who achieved the national open records.