His Royal Highness Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah (centre), the President of the BNOC, with the two London 2012 Olympic Scholarship recipients Anderson Lim Chee Wei (at right) and Maziah Mahusin (at left) at the Royal Lounge of the International Convention Centre in Berakas yesterday. Picture: BT/ Zamri Zainal
It was a great day for Brunei sports.
The Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council (BNOC) yesterday secured two London 2012 Olympic Scholarships for its athletes.
A first for Brunei, the beneficiaries of the scholarships are Anderson Lim Chee Wei (swimming) and Maziah Mahusin (athletics).
A signing ceremony between the BNOC and the athletes and their respective sports associations (Brunei Amateur Swimming Association and Brunei Amateur Athletics Association) took place yesterday at the Royal Lounge of the International Convention Centre in Berakas.
His Royal Highness Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah, the President of the BNOC, signed on behalf of the BNOC.
Basa president Aziz Latip signed on behalf of the swimming association while Kifli Hj Jaafar, the head of the Sports Coaching and Development Unit (SCDU), signed on behalf of the BAAA.
According to Zuraimi Abdul Sani, the BNOC secretary-general, there were six candidates supported by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports' national selection and evaluation committee but only the two made the cut based on their performances.
The athletes will receive US$1,000 each a month to help with their training from September 2011 to August 2012.
Also in attendance to witness the signing were the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Hj Hazair Hj Abdullah and his deputy Datin Paduka Hjh Adina Othman.
Lim knows that the money will be put to good use to help him develop further.
"This scholarship will benefit my swimming career because the money will help pay the transportation as well as food costs," said Lim.
"The money left should be used as allowance, hopefully, to train abroad. It is also a form of motivation," he added.
"When I train nine times a week, I sometimes get really tired and demotivated so this allowance should keep me going mentally," continued the 15-year-old national swimmer.
Lim had previously told The Brunei Times that his ultimate goal was to compete at the Olympics and the scholarship provided him a better chance to achieve that goal.
He said: "It will definitely motivate me towards that goal.
"I want to thank the BNOC for giving me this opportunity. I would also like to thank my coaches, past and present, as well as my parents for their continuous support."
Maziah knows what the scholarship is for and she is looking forward to working harder and getting better.
"This scholarship will help me get better exposure and have more training overseas. It will be used for training purposes," said Maziah. "I would like to thank the BNOC for this great opportunity. I have hopes of improving on my best times, breaking national records as well as bringing up Brunei's name," added the 18-year-old athlete.
"I'm looking forward to soon be able to train with other athletes from all over the world in UK prior to the Olympic Games," she continued.
Both selected athletes were winners of the Best Athlete awards during the Youth Sports Festival (PSR) in June.
The scholarships are awarded by the International Olympic Council (IOC) through the Olympic Solidarity Programme.
Courtesy from Brunei Times