Royalty hands over Brunei flag to national contingent
By Rohani Hj Abd Hamid

"The handing over of the Brunei national flag to the Brunei contingent is not only for traditional or symbolic purposes but also uplifts the spirit of patriotism amongst the athletes and officials representing the Sultanate. As what I have mentioned previously, the Brunei national flag is a country's symbol and should be raised high in whatever situation especially during competitions."

This was highlighted by His Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah, the President of the Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council cum guest of honour during the handing over of national flags for the SEA Games ceremony at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium yesterday.

"Let our National Flag, which will be brought to the 25th SEA games be the inspiration and raise the spirit of success," His Royal Highness added.

"I fully believe that the selected athletes representing Brunei Darussalam are those who have the capabilities and exceed the benchmark outlined by the Brunei National Olympic Council (BDNOC) as well as the assessment by the national selection and assessment committee.

"The selection of athletes and our country's participation, I believe, is not merely to fulfill the commitment as a family to the Southeast Asian Games Federation (SEAGF) but it is, in fact, to prove that our athletes are capable of competing in the international arena and possess the potential to win medals in the competition.

"It is essential for the athletes to remain focused whilst competing in the events. Through the high spirit of competition and responsibility borne by each athlete, by god's will, success will be achieved.

"There is no one that can assist you during the battle. The victory or lose is on your shoulders. Your coach, trainers, officials and supporters are only able to provide moral support. Therefore, I call upon all athletes to showcase their capabilities and give their all to achieve success and bring pride to Brunei Darussalam," His Royal Highness said.

Also in attendance was Pehin Orang Kaya Setia Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Dr Awg Hj Ahmad bin Hj Jumat, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports.

In his speech Pehin Dato Dr Awg Hj Ahmad said, "I was informed that the athletes were undergoing intensive training internally and have participated in outside competitions to prepare for the 25th SEA games.

"I believe that the athletes are fully prepared mentally and physically as they possess the skills and experience to compete against their opponents during the SEA games. We hope that they will showcase their excellence and high spirits to provide a challenge to other athletes."

The Brunei national flag and Brunei contingent sports attire were handed over by His Royal Highness Pengiran Bendahara Seri Maharaja Permaisuara Pengiran Muda Haji Sufri Bolkiah to Awg Hj Mohd Zamri bin Dato Paduka Hj Hamdani, Chef de Mission of the Brunei contingent to the 25th SEA games 2009 in Laos.

Other attendees include Pehin Jawatan Dalam Seri Maharaja Dato Seri Utama Dr Hj Mohd Jamil Al-Sufri, the Head of History Centre, Dato Paduka Hj Jemat bin Hj Ampal, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, and other senior officers. - Borneo Bulletin (1st December 2009)