Minister of Culture, Youth and
Sports YB Pehin Dato Hj Hazair (L)
receives a souvenir for the 5th
Borneo Games from Labuan
Corporation CEO cum Chairman of
the Labuan Sports Council
Committee Dato' Zainul Abidin
Abdullah (R) yesterday. Picture:
BT/ Ubaidillah Masli
Thirteen sports have been planned for the fifth edition of the Borneo Games by first-time hosts Labuan.
A delegation led by Labuan Corporation CEO Dato' Zainul Abidin Abdullah, the chair of the Labuan Sports Council committee, paid a courtesy call to the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Hj Hazair Hj Abdullah at the ministry yesterday.
According to the Acting Director of the Department of Youth and Sports, Hj Abdul Malik Hj Mohammad, the hosts provided Brunei a verbal invitation to the September 13-21 biennial tournament during the closed-door meeting with the minister and other senior officials from the ministry.
However, Hj Abdul Malik told The Brunei Times that the Sultanate has yet to confirm which sports it will compete in until the formal invite has been given along with a detailed outline of the Games' programme.
"As of now, we're looking into it (which sports Brunei will be competing in)," he said following the meeting.
"We support the invitation in principle (but) we'll have to (wait for) more details," he added.
Hj Abd Malik said the ministry reportedly informed the delegation "we don't have any problem competing" during the meeting.
Apart from golf for VIPs, the sports aquatics, archery, athletics, basketball, bowling, football, futsal, gasing, karatedo, lawn bowls, sepak silat, takraw and tug-of-war will be open to Under-21 athletes from Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei Darussalam, Labuan and four territories from Kalimantan, Indonesia.
"The Federal Territory of Labuan, through the technical and competition committees, have made the necessary preparations in terms of venues, accommodation and logistics," Dato' Zainul Abidin said in a separate interview.
In another interview, the Director of the Labuan Sports Council, Mohd Khairul Yakop said that he hoped the Games will indirectly serve as a platform for the development of young athletes in Borneo.
Hosts of the previous Games in 2011, East Kalimantan won the eight-team tournament after winning 57 gold, 32 silver and 37 bronze medals.
Brunei finished fourth at the 2011 Games after winning eight gold, six silver and five bronze medals
Brunei's best finish came when they hosted the third edition of the meet in 2009 and won 13 gold, 15 silver and 18 bronze medals.