Sunday, May 19, 2024
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Brunei Town

Festive Sunday for the public

It was a moment to remember for some and more than a privilege for others as Bruneians-young and old-gathered at Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien in the capital yesterday to perform for His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s 77th birthday celebration.

As part of the Royal Birthday Cycling Recreation 2023, the performance was held with the concept of self-defence, participated by athletes from clubs under associations, accompanied by 13 sports coaches specialising in karate, kempo, kendo, kickboxing, taekwondo, and pencak silat. The presentation included athletes aged between four and 60.

“I was happy to be able to perform for His Majesty but at the same time I felt nervous,” said Muhammad Ali Saifullah bin Haji Mohd Suhaimi representing the Brunei Darussalam National Pencak Silat Federation.

“That anxiety stemmed mostly from having to lead the chants of Daulat Kebawah Duli Tuan Patik,” he added.

He shared that the pencak silat group was represented by 58 athletes, who trained for a month before the event and were quite eager to perform especially the little ones.

For kendo athlete Muhammad Thaqif bin Sukirman, the event provided a platform and an opportunity to raise awareness of the sport as is not widely known in the Sultanate.

Kendo athletes during a demonstration at Taman Sir Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien. PHOTO: KHAYR ZAKARIYYA & ADIB NOOR
ABOVE & BELOW: Children perform kickboxing; Muhammad Ali Saifullah bin Haji Mohd Suhaimi; kendo athlete Muhammad Thaqif bin Sukirman; and Haji Abu Bakar bin Haji Abdullah. PHOTO: KHAYR ZAKARIYYA & ADIB NOOR
PHOTO: KHAYR ZAKARIYYA & ADIB NOOR

“Showcasing kendo for His Majesty is a privilege and I am proud to be a part of it,” said the athlete from the Kendo Federation Brunei Darussalam.

Meanwhile, the event saw the participation of individuals who either engaged in the cycling event or simply adding to the festive atmosphere by gathering at the Taman.

As the leader of the marshal cycling team Haji Abu Bakar bin Haji Abdullah said their responsibility was to ensure the safety and clearance of all routes for His Majesty to pass through.

Comprising 20 members, the cycling marshals included former personnel from the Royal Brunei Armed Force and Royal Brunei Police Force.

Among them were represntatives from the Oil Town Cycling (OTC) in the Belait District, as well as the Amateur Cycling Team (ACT) in Tutong District, under the Brunei Darussalam Cycling Federation (BDCF).

Before the event, the marshals carried out rehearsals to familiarise themselves with the routes, ensuring that the public maintained an appropriate distance from the monarch during the cycling activity to prevent any unwanted incidents.

Pengiran Amar Suraini bin Pengiran Hashim, who is also known as Amar Pahlawan, led the group of 77 cyclists who participated in the 77-kilometre (km) cycling event.

He said their journey commenced at the Taman and took them through several roads in the capital continuing to Lumapas, Junjongan, and crossing into Jalan Mulaut and Jangsak. The route then led them into Kiarong, before concluding at the Taman.

The cycling team covered a distance of 35km on the initial day and 42km on the subsequent day, totalling 77km.

He said that the 77 riders represented national cycling development athletes and cycling clubs, a majority with considerable experience in the sport.

The leader of the Inline Skate Brunei, Azril bin Haji Mohammad, said that 30 of their members participated in the event.

Their frequent involvement in national events reflected the increasing public interest in rollerblading, he added. – Adib Noor & Rokiah Mahmud

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