Royalty at sporty get-together
By Achong Tanjong

His Royal Highness Prince Abdul Azim yesterday consented to attend a get-together and thanksgiving ceremony with PARA Games athletes who have received the 'Sports Excellence Encouragement Scheme' Incentive Awards.

The afternoon function - held at Pusat Bahagia of the Community Development Department - saw HRH Prince Abdul Azim mingling with the special athletes.

HRH's presence at the event served as an encouragement for the PARA Games athletes, propelling them to perform better in future regional and international championships.

Also present at function were Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Pehin Major General (Rtd) Dato Seri Pahlawan Awg Hj Mohammad bin Haji Daud, the permanent secretary and senior officials at the ministry, as well as family members of the athletes.

The highlight of the day was a singing performance staged by Pusat Bahagia trainers and athletes, who were accompanied by a live band.

Twelve special athletes attended the function, namely - Rosli Hj Hastan, Md Alimi Hj Mahli, Shari Jumat, Sibuang Hj Kalong, An Nur Hai Yyu Md Yusof, Insnani Hj Khamis, Harun Hj Tahir, Hirdan bin Hj Abd Kadir, Md Shafie Hj Md Nafiah, Dk Norol Hafizah Pg Osman, Harfah bte Zakaria and Sarbanun.

At the 3rd ASEAN PARA Games in Manila last year, the Brunei team brought home 17 medals - seven gold, six silver and four bronze.

The Brunei team also participated in the 1st ASEAN PARA Games in Kuala Lumpur in 2001, and the 2nd ASEAN PARA Games in Hanoi, Vietnam in 2003.

Meanwhile, during a recent ceremony to award incentives to the special athletes, the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports announced that the ministry will continue to develop the sports community in Brunei Darussalam by providing encouragement through schemes and preparing venues for various sporting activities nationwide.

The minister also stressed that special needs athletes are not exempted from being involved in sporting events regionally and internationally. - Borneo Bulletin (11th June 2006)