| James Kon |
FOR A’lia Kaiyisah binti Abdullah @ Mohammad Mahadir, it was a moment to remember yesterday morning as she, together with her team members and team manager Bohari bin Abdullah left for the 19th Sukma Games in Perak to compete in the U15 Girls Optimist Sailing event.
At 11 years, A’lia Kaiyisah is the youngest athlete in the Brunei Darussalam Sukma contingent.
Bohari said of the remarkable young girl, “A’lia Kaiyisah started sailing recreationally at the age of eight for two years. She only started competing seriously in the sport one year ago.”
On her preparations for the tournament, he added, “She has been training with the Miri sailing team for two months. Every Friday and Sunday, A’lia Kaiyisah’s parents would drive her to Miri for training. She competed in the Sarawak Regatta in July as well as the International Johore in March this year. In both competitions, she obtained very encouraging results.”
Speaking about the competition in the Sukma Games, Bohari said, “It will be tough competition in the tournament. We hope that A’lia Kaiyisah will improve and succeed. A’lia Kaiyisah already knows some of her opponents from her years of sailing and training in Miri.”
The Brunei sailing team manager paid special tribute to A’lia Kaiyisah’s parents, thanking them for supporting their daughter. He also expressed his gratitude to the Brunei Darussalam Yachting Association and Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports for the assistance.
Sending the Brunei team athletes and officials off at Brunei International Airport were Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports Datin Paduka Dr Hajah Norlila binti Dato Paduka Haji Abdul Jalil and Acting Director of Youth and Sports Haji Zafri bin Haji Mohamed.
This year, the Brunei Darussalam contingent comprises 34 athletes and 21 officers competing in nine sporting events: lawn bowling, cycling, sailing, athletics, pencak silat, taekwondo, 10-pin bowling, karate-do and wushu.
In the 2017 Sukma Games, Brunei captured one silver medal and three bronze medals.