Her Royal Highness hails Royal Bees’ achievement in SEA Games

James Kon

Brunei Darussalam’s netball team captain Her Royal Highness Princess Fadzilah Lubabul Bolkiah highlighted the team’s achievement and dedication during the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in the Philippines recently.

Her Royal Highness, through a representative, also shared plans for the future of netball during the 30th SEA Games post-mortem meeting at the Lecture Hall of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium yesterday.

Vice captain of the Royal Bees Dayangku Khalisha binti Pengiran Abdul Rahman read out a statement from Her Royal Highness, “My sincere apologies that I am not able to attend this important day, but I am here taking my responsibility as the team captain, that I speak for my team and I believe today is a very important day to acknowledge netball as a whole in SEA Games and its next journey in the future.”

The Royal Bees, Her Royal Highness said, “would not have achieved three bronzes in the SEA Games since 2015 if it weren’t for the players’ hard work and dedication, the thorough management of BNA (Brunei Netball Association) and especially to the coaching expertise that was provided to us.

“Having coach Jane with her spot-on training programme regimes, the constant push of positive motivation and good insight of knowledge in high-level competition had benefitted the Royal Bees and took us to the next level. I would like to personally thank coach Jane for this and very much looking forward to working with her again soon.”

File photo shows Her Royal Highness Princess Fadzilah Lubabul Bolkiah celebrating with teammates during a match. PHOTO: RAHWANI ZAHARI

Sharing on the future of the Royal Bees and netball in Brunei, Her Royal Highness said, “Indeed netball is a sport that is growing in Brunei. Only 10 years ago, we hardly had a team competing at a regional or international level let alone in a contingent game such as the SEA Games. Thankfully, with a proper coach and excellent training, the Royal Bees had gone through a great journey with coach Thilaka and coach Jane.

“This should not be neglected as we need to keep striving to improve the quality of netball in Brunei. With that, I truly hope that this can inspire more high-level netball players to get involved in high systematic performance and with proper coaching.”

Her Royal Highness also shared the need of a good netball foundation to be developed in Brunei, by producing a larger pool of young players and produce qualified coaches.

“Currently, we have coach Jane as our national coach focussing her responsibility for the national team. It is high time that another development coach is needed and it’s crucial to ensure the sustainability of our netball grassroots to grow. One day we need to step down and let the new generations take over and be even better than us.

“The collaboration between the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, Ministry of Education and Brunei Netball Association is important to be in place.”

The Royal Bees are looking forward to compete in the Asian Netball Championships (ANC) 2020 in July.

“More participation from the Asian region will be expected (in ANC) compared to the SEA Games. It will be another challenge for the Royal Bees to aim for ANC 2022 qualifying and 2023 World Netball Championship.”

The team’s captain called on support from different stakeholders to keep a high-level competitiveness in netball. “Nothing is easy without dedication, discipline and true passion,” Her Royal Highness said.

“To maintain glory is a challenge. I believe we can because we are always hungry for more, and it is not impossible to achieve that with the support from all our parents, our friends and families and together with the Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council, Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, Ministry of Education, Brunei Netball Association and other relevant agencies that are passionate to netball.”