Royalty grace opening of special charity bazaar
By Lyna Mohamad

Her Royal Highness Princess 'Azemah Ni'matul Bolkiah yesterday graced the opening of the Special Olympics Brunei Darussalam's charity bazaar at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium, Berakas.

Also in attendance was Her Royal Highness Princess Fadzilah Lubabul Bulqiah.

On arrival, Their Royal Highnesses were greeted by Special Olympics Brunei Darussalam Chairman Awang Haji Mahrub Haji Raub.

The event began with a welcoming speech by the chairman, during which he said since the establishment of the Special Olympics Brunei Darussalam, the movement has received strong support from various parties, making it possible to realise meaningful goals for its athletes.

The strong support has also enabled the organisation to set up facilities aimed at allowing the athletes to undergo continuous training, which has led to triumphs in national, regional and international sporting events.

He also disclosed that four gold, 13 silver and four bronze medals were won at the World Summer Championship in Shanghai, China in 2007.

For the World Winter Championships in Athens in 2011, he said the Special Olympics Brunei Darussalam will explore new fields, such as ten-pin bowling, equestrian and swimming, with active preparations currently being made with trainings to follow soon.

The same goes for Special Olympics programmes for athletes aged eight years and below, he added.

This year, the Special Olympics Brunei Darussalam will be organising the 5th National Games, partake in the athletics and BOCCE in Singapore next month, organise a ten-pin bowling championship in October, and partake in the Borneo Special Olympics Football Championship in Kalimantan, Indonesia.

Awang Haji Mahrub acknowledged the strong cooperation rendered by the Minstry of Education, Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, and Ministry of Health, as well as main sponsors such as Baiduri Bank and HSBC, and other contributors such as private companies and individuals.

The charity bazaar, he said, served as part of the organisation's continuous efforts to find financial resources for the benefit of the athletes, as well as its activities and programmes.

He also extended appreciation to main sponsors Jati Transport, Cityneon Sdn Bhd, Primatel Communication, and Econopak Forwarding Company, as well as volunteers that signed up to assist in the event.

Prior to the opening of the event, Her Royal Highness Princess 'Azemah Ni'matul Bolkiah presented tokens of appreciation to the four main sponsors before taking a closer look at the participating booths. - Borneo Bulletin (4th May 2009)