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Tuesday, November 29, 2022
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Tuesday, November 29, 2022
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    Platform for success

    Fadhil Yunus

    Brunei Darussalam has continuously prioritised the development of physical infrastructure in sports to help provide a platform for national athletes in their quest towards achieving success.

    It is therefore paramount that adequate facilities and amenities encompassing all aspects contributing to the sport in question are in place to cater to the needs of the athletes, beside the common requirements of harnessing their finesse, technique and technical abilities.

    These can include the provision of a dedicated recovery room where athletes can get the best possible medical treatment and expertise, particularly concerning injury prevention or a gym where strength training sessions will be readily accessible under one roof.

    In an ideal scenario, an athlete could be engaged in conversation with the manager in one moment and then head straight to the gym in the next or meeting a team physiotherapist without leaving the building.

    The country has highlighted interest in revamping existing facilities, as is notably evident with the renovation of the phased Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium project.

    File photo shows the main entrance of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium. PHOTOS: BAHYIAH BAKIR
    The National Aquatics Centre of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas

    The surroundings of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex, which can be seen as a local sporting hub, features a number of courts and arenas readily accessible for both recreational and competitive athletes alike.

    The main court of the tennis centre has a seating capacity capable of bringing good turnouts and its sweeping views from an elevated level provide an enhanced experience for spectators.

    The national aquatics centre also houses a standard swimming pool and diving boards capable of hosting national tournaments, though international meets are still absent.

    Situated between the multi-purpose hall and the petanque court, the lawn bowls centre boasts a quality outdoor surface where up-and-coming athletes are able to train and perform during competitions.

    Although extreme sports are still at a minimum in the local competitive scene, a skateboarding park conveniently built opposite the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium main staircase serves as a platform for enthusiasts to showcase their skills and abilities.

    Skateboarding and BMX were especially popular in the 1990s, inspired by top personalities such as Tony Hawk and Bob Burnquist.

    Meanwhile, the Indoor Stadium of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex can host a diverse range of sports including basketball, netball, futsal, badminton and wushu.

    The indoor complex, one of the biggest facilities in terms of total area and size, carries the potential to pull huge crowds should an international-level meet comes to town.

    The Jack Nicklaus-designed The Empire Brunei Country Club golf course will rival not only the finest courses in the region but also presents a global appeal with scenic views overlooking the South China Sea.

    It hosted the ButraHeidelbergCement (BHC) Brunei Championships – an Asian Development Tour event – in April 2019, drawing the likes of Thai superstar Kiradech Aphibarnrat.

    The internationally-acclaimed venue also welcomed international talents in the Brunei Ladies Open, tri-sanctioned by the China LPGA Tour, the Brunei Darussalam Golf Association and the LPGA of Korea Tour, in 2018.

    In enhancing the progress of football in the Sultanate, the Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (FABD) recently welcomed the establishment of a new technical centre and mini grandstand funded through the FIFA Forward project.

    The main office just a stone’s throw away has also been refurbished with enhanced facilities such as a gymnasium.

    In addition, the walls at the Menglait Sports Complex have been adorned with specific colour themes designed to assist the coordination of players who use such facilities.

    The running track and an area purposely built for jumping events have also been replaced as part of efforts in modernising the country’s national stadium.

    In 2016, the Brunei Basketball Association Court in Batu Bersurat underwent a huge revamp specifically with the playing surface in line with International Basketball Federation (FIBA) specifications.

    The move was hoped to improve the quality of basketball in the country as well as fuelling and reigniting the interest of youth and the younger generation.

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