| James Kon |
BRUNEI Darussalam’s men and ladies softball teams are heading to Thailand to compete in the Thailand Softball Open 2019 from July 25-28 in preparation for the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in the Philippines later this year.
A flag-handing event was held yesterday at the At-Taqwa Travel Tours Office in Tungku Link, Gadong. Brunei Darussalam Amateur Softball and Baseball Association (BASBA) President Pehin Orang Kaya Lela Pahlawan Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Mohd Jaafar bin Haji Abdul Aziz presented the national flag to the team captains.
Vice President of BASBA and head coach of the contingent Major (Rtd) Wan Haji Md Tambrin bin Haji Suhaili said they are targetting a third-place finish in the tournament.
“Both teams were set up in January 2019 and have been in training since then. We will do our best to attain bronze medal in the men’s team event as well as the ladies event.
“Teams from ASEAN member countries like the Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and hosts Thailand are expected to field the best teams. We will take the competition seriously as benchmark for the upcoming SEA Games in the Philippines. We also hope to bring glory not only for the association but also the country.”
The country’s men’s team have participated in the same competition, previously known as SEA Cup in 2015, and finished fourth place.
Also in attendance at the event were officials from Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports; Managing Director of NBT (Brunei) Haji Ahmad Omar bin Haji Husin, as well as the players from both teams.
Meanwhile, Major (Rtd) Wan Haji Md Tambrin also revealed that the association will host the 5th Ladies and 7th Men Asia Softball Championship to be held from September 11-14. Seven teams from Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, Hong Kong and Brunei Darussalam will take part.
Asked on the issue to attract more youth to take up softball, the vice president said, “The initiative taken was a roadshow with the Youth and Sports Department as well as Co-Curriculum Education Department. BASBA has also met with the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports on the repair issue of the softball field, which is one of the main reasons for the lack of interest from young players. Other issues discussed were softball equipment and hiring of proper coach to help boost the sport.”