| James Kon & Khairil Hassan |
JAPANESE martial arts Judo is set to gain its footing in Brunei Darussalam following the launch of the Brunei Darussalam National Judo Federation yesterday at the Indoor Stadium in Berakas.
Guest of honour Haji Amer Hamzah bin Pehin Orang Kaya Amar Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Haji Zakaria, Acting Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) officiated the launch.
Haruki Uemura, President of the Kodokan Judo Institute, which is the oldest independent Judo organisation in the world congratulated the occasion. “We would like to continue to step forward together with Brunei Darussalam National Judo Federation as member of the same Judo family,” he said.
He also recalled that two years ago, Kodokan Judo has dispatched two Judo experts to Asean member countries as part of the joint project.
“Japan Asean JITA Kyoei Project was co-organised by the Kodokan and Japan Foundation Asia Center. In addition, we invited coaches from Asean member countries for seminar that were held to pass Judo properly to the next generation,” said Haruki, who also won gold medal at the 1976 Summer Olympics.
Haji Abdul Malik bin Haji Mohamad, President of the Brunei Darussalam National Judo Federation expressed his gratitude to the Japanese Embassy for their support and exposure programme in Kodokan last year through the Japan-East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youths (JENESYS) programme.
“The embassy has been very active in giving good guidance and advice on how to go about our endeavours especially to our Judo academy,” the president said.
The main objective of the federation set up is to create awareness and promote Judo in the country with the ambition to nurture athletes to be able to represent Brunei in regional and international competitions.
Following the official launching ceremony, Haruki Uemura conducted a Judo seminar.
A dinner reception was held in conjunction with the establishment of the federation last night at Mulia Hotel in Berakas, attended by Haji Amer Hamzah as the guest of honour; Motohiko Kato, Ambassador of Japan to Brunei Darussalam; and Haruki Uemura as well as other officials from the MCYS.