HRH Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah (L), the president of the Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council, handing over the Brunei flag to Chef de Mission Pg Anak Md Sofian Pg Anak Hj Ibrahim for the 19th Commonwealth Games Delhi 2010 at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium Berakas yesterday. Picture: BT/Jefrisalas
National flag handed over to Bruneian contingent for Commonwealth Games
His Royal Highness Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah, the president of the Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council (BNOC), yesterday urged the national athletes to put in their full commitment to achieve success when they compete at the 19th Commonwealth Games (CWG) in New Delhi next week.
"With 100 per cent commitment, it allows us to strive and overcome our weaknesses. The athletes should fulfill their responsibilities and give their full attention during the competition," said HRH during a flag handing over ceremony for the upcoming 19th CWG to be held from Oct 3-14.
"This is the trust that should be shouldered by all the athletes to emerge victorious and uplift the name of the country," added HRH.
The Prince handed over the national flag to the Chef de Mission of the national contingent, Pg Anak Md Sofian Pg Anak Hj Ibrahim, at the VIP room of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas yesterday.
This is the fifth time that the Sultanate is participating at the CWG and they have yet to win a medal but HRH has high hopes that the "traditional" will be broken this year.
HRH suggested that the rightful authorities will prepare a precise and factual daily reports and updates not only to the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports but also to the local media so that the Bruneian citizens know about the development and results involving the national athletes.
The Prince also reminded that a full report be handed to the rightful authorities including the BNOC so that a post-mortem be held within two weeks after the contingent returns to home soil, not only for the CWG, but for all sporting events. HRH also advised that there should be a doctor and physiotherapist for future tournaments.
In addition, HRH made a suggestion to the national and evaluation committee.
"The authorities need to be more rational, firm and detail in evaluating the selection of athletes according to the guidelines," said HRH.
With that, the Prince brought up the question regarding the changing dates of the final fitness tests as the selection for both the CWG and 16th Asian Games slated for November Guangzhou, China, were done on August 25 during the month of Ramadhan.
With regard to the Brunei athletes, HRH had previously proposed that the authorities concerned should increase their efforts in identifying new talent and urged them not to just concentrate on the Brunei-Muara district alone but also on Tutong, Temburong and Belait districts.
"There is still plenty of talent waiting to be unearthed and with proper nurturing and training, they have the potential to represent the Sultanate and bring glory to the country," said HRH.
The Sultanate will be represented in India by 11 athletes taking part in the lawn bowling event, manager, coach, secretariat plus the chef de mission.
Ampuan Ahad Ampuan Kassim will be taking part in the men's singles while Hj Naim Brahim and Abd Rahman Hj Omar will team up for the men's pairs. The trio of Yakup Amit, Md Ali Bujang and Hj Rosli Hj Ibrahim will compete in the men's triples.
The duo of Siti Ervi Fedarussanti and Esmawandy Ibrahim are taking part in the women's pairs while the team of Hjh Ajijah Muntol, Hjh Fatmah Hj Ibrahim and Hjh Lilimaryani Ampuan Salleh will play in the women's triples.
Eric Johannes, the national lawn bowls coach, is optimistic about the team producing good results at the CWG. "We have been preparing for the competition for about seven weeks now and the only problem we had was during Ramadhan but we did get training done from 9pm-12am, five days a week," said Johannes, who won a bronze medal in the sport for South Africa at the previous edition of the CWG in Melbourne, Australia in 2006.
"Six of the players have competed in Melbourne so I can say we have got the experience and we just have to put our act together. We need to believe that we can beat teams such as England or Ireland," he added.
"So I've been working on mental preparations and we should let our opponents worry about us instead of the other way round. I know we can do it," continued the 48-year-old.
"It would be a privilege and honour to be able to win a medal but finishing in the top 10 would also be a very good achievement against the best in the world," concluded Johannes.
The CWG will see the participation of 71 contingents from the countries, states and territories of the Commonwealth.
Also present at the flag handing ceremony was Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Paduka Hj Hazair Hj Abdullah, the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports.
The contingent is set to depart Brunei for New Delhi today.
Courtesy from Brunei Times