Official Website of Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council
Olympic Torch Run will help motivate young athletes
Friday, February 10, 2012

Tomorrow's Olympic Torch Run is poised to have a strong trickle-down effect on budding athletes.

The 2.5km relay event at 7:30am which members of the public are encouraged to participate in will mark the 200-day countdown to the Paralympics Games, with hordes of pupils set to descend on the ground floor of the Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah (YSHHB) Shopping Complex in the capital for the start.

Among the participants are school students from Jerudong International School (JIS), St George's School, St Andrew's School and government schools.

London last hosted the Olympics in 1948 and the original 1948 Olympic torch will be used for the relay adding to the occasion.

National basketball coach Kevin Reece (pic) said that though the event might not further motivate the athletes who are supposed to go to London, it will serve a greater purpose.

"It helps us show support for the Olympics," said Reece yesterday.

"To ask if it will further motivate the athletes who are supposed to go ... That's a hard question. They should already be motivated, they shouldn't need an event like this (to motivate them).

"But for the pupils from the schools who will be participating, it will give them hope that one day they will have the opportunity to hold that torch ... to one day participate in the Olympics," opined the American.

National badminton coach Indra Setiawan also felt the run will have an impact on school kids.

"I think it's a great event," said the Indonesian.

"It will help motivate the younger participants from the different schools," added the former Philippines national coach.

The run is organised in collaboration with the British High Commission, the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, the Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council (BNOC) and JIS which brought the 1948 Olympic Torch to Brunei.

A ceremony to hoist the London Paralympic Olympic Flag 2012 will take place prior to the flag-off.

A press release issued by the British High Commission yesterday stated that hosting this year's Paralympics will be particularly significant for the UK as the country that founded the Paralympic movement in 1948 and put disability sport on the map.

The purpose of these two back-to-back events, the flag-hoisting and the run, is to use the original 1948 Olympic torch as a symbol for peace, to generate excitement and promote involvement in sport amongst young people in Brunei, and to recall the Olympic ideals of friendship, respect, excellence, determination, inspiration, courage and equality.

The UK has committed itself to staging the most accessible Olympic and Paralympics Games ever and it is determined to use the Games to help change the way the world views disability and encourage a more open and inclusive society.

British High Commissioner Rob Fenn and Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Hj Hazair Hj Abdullah will run with friends and colleagues, including those from the BNOC and heads of diplomatic missions.

The torch will pass through five checkpoints. The distance of one check point to the next is about 500m and the run is expected to be completed in 40 minutes.

Courtesy from Brunei Times