Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Hj Hazair Hj Abdullah (R) and Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Hamid Hj Mohd Jaafar (L) attending yesterday's Ministry of Culture Youth and Sports' national selection and evaluation committee's meeting. BT/ Ridhwan Kamarulzaman
87 athletes have been listed in the Athletes Under Consideration (MDP) category for the 28th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Singapore.
A total of 427 athletes - 309 male and 118 female - were nominated by the national sports associations which was revealed during the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports' national selection and evaluation committee's first meeting regarding next year's June 5-16 competition yesterday.
The President of the Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council (BDNOC) His Royal Highness Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah was present for the meeting at the Conference Room of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas, and HRH emphasised that the respective sports associations are to be notified immediately so further preparations can be made.
"Athletes who are listed in the MDP category shall be communicated to the associations concerned as soon as this meeting is over," said HRH in his sabda before the names were shortlisted.
"This notification must be made formally by emphasising that they are only still in the MDP (category) and the decision to choose them is subject to the five criteria (of the selection committee) and any additional criteria deemed appropriate.
"This preliminary information is essential to enable them to plan and implement training programmes earlier, as well as to motivate them to prove their capabilities, thus qualifying to represent the country.
"Training must be done as early as possible before the Games are held. Systematic training in the long term, not just four or five months, is very important in the development of the athletes.
"I would like to know the training programmes conducted by MCYS and the short, medium and long term plans in order to build elite athletes to represent the country in regional and international games," continued HRH, who is also the president of the National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD).
HRH also suggested that potential athletes should be given a chance to compete.
"It would be good for us to consider the participation of athletes in category B (potential athletes but without achievement), at regional and international games," said the BDNOC president.
"This is practiced by many countries in order to ensure the sustainable development of athletes to the elite status.
"The committee can choose athletes who are young and have huge potential with the sports they are involved in, because if we just wait and not give them an opportunity, the expected achievement will never be obtained.
"Participation of athletes in this category B may be funded by the government or sponsorships by companies," concluded HRH.
The meeting was also attended by the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Hj Hazair Hj Abdullah, permanent secretary Dato Paduka Hj Md Hamid Hj Md Jaafar and other senior officials from both the BDNOC and the ministry.