Renovation of the National Hockey Stadium of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas is almost done, though the players and coaches have to test the pitch out first. Picture: BT/Ak Fauzi Pg Salleh
There is some good news for hockey lovers in the country.
The Brunei Darussalam Hockey Association (BDHA) will soon be able to host national hockey tournaments and provide modern facilities to players from across the country as the renovation of the National Hockey Stadium of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas is almost complete.
The Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) started the renovation in March and the handing over of the new pitch to the BDHA will be announced in due time.
BDHA Vice President Mansor Hj Ibrahim told The Brunei Times that the pitch's renovation was completed last month.
"The pitch is almost ready," said BDHA Vice President Mansor Hj Ibrahim on Wednesday.
"We have a new carpet (turf) for the pitch and there is a new draining system installed for the pitch too, but we have yet to test the pitch.
"It needs to be tested by the players and coaches before the handing over to check whether the quality is up to the required standard," he continued.
It was a quiet year for the BDHA with the Hockey Indoor 5-a-side Tournament 2013, which was held at the Dewan Riadah at the Youth Centre (Pusat Belia) in April, their only recent activity of note.
Mansor hopes that the renovation of the pitch will see the players reunited with their sticks as soon as possible.
"I hope that we will return to action soon," he said.
"The national hockey players have been rested for a long time now and they need to get back playing.
"As for the coaches, they have been attending a number of courses and workshops over the past months," he added.
The association revealed their strategic plan in June as they are preparing for the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games that the Sultanate will host in 2019.
The strategic plan includes improving the hockey pitch, facilities and equipment that will meet international requirements.
The national team defeated Sabah 1-0 to win the gold medal in the 2007 edition of the Borneo Games in Kuching, which until today, remains the country's biggest achievement in the sport.
It was the first time the men's team won gold in the sport and ranks as one of the country's most memorable moments in the game.