I’m glad to see the country working hard to promote a healthy lifestyle among the public, especially given the prevalence of chronic diseases in the population. With affordable public sports facilities, I believe we as Bruneians are very fortunate that our well-beings are given priority; that on top of nearly free healthcare.
However, it is sad to see the state of the national stadium. The roads in the area are unevenly paved; certain parts are in better conditions than others. Outside the swimming pool complex is the stretch of road that seems perpetually under construction. Then there is the curious decision to put a futsal court at the tennis centre.
We are living in the COVID-19 era; strengthening our immune system is of utmost importance right now. Getting fit should be – above all else – the first line of defence against viruses that may be floating around.
There have also been a tonne of suggestions made directly to management teams of various public sports facilities to consider opening early to allow for employed individuals to get their morning workouts done before the workday begins. As a matter of fact, the current opening hours, which starts at 8am, seems rather counterintuitive. This is especially true during the week, when most of us are either in the office or at school, leaving staffers to man empty facilities.
When the whole-of-nation approach was first emphasised, the results were promptly evident. Brunei is one of the few countries that has successfully contained the spread of COVID-19, largely due to the concerted efforts by the authorities.
The same approach can be applied to the campaign for a healthier lifestyle. With enough urgency, I believe the authorities would come together and come up with a sound plan to make public sports facilities more accommodating to a range of needs.
We are losing time here. With the cancer rate on the up and the increasing prevalence of obesity and chronic illnesses, it is time to go back to the drawing board and take seriously the collectively effort needed to put a stop to its spread.