Brunei Youths Patriotism

Cycling tour instils sense of patriotism among youths

Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth, and Sports Haji Mohd Rozan Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Yunos (L) presenting the certificate of participation to each district youth representative during the closing ceremony of the bicycle expedition for the Eighth Belia Cinta Tanah Air programme held at Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas yesterday. Picture: BT/Yusri Adanan.
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Monday, February 18, 2013 - AFTER cycling a total of 300km in six days, participants of the eighth "Youth Love the Nation" cycling expedition can rest easy knowing that they have not only acquired a heightened sense of patriotism but also the values of teamwork, respect and road safety.

The final stretch of the expedition brought participants along a 29km route in the capital ending at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium yesterday morning. Present as the guest of honour was Deputy Permanent Secretary, at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, Hj Rozan Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Yunos.

During the closing ceremony, the Acting Director of the Youth and Sports Department (JBS) in his speech said that, besides fostering patriotism amongst youth, the "Youth Love the Nation" programme is aimed at fostering a sense of community and unity.

"It is also to maintain our sense of community living, religion and the nation, as well as unity," said Hj Abdul Malik Hj Mohammad. "With this objective, to further ignite the spirit among all levels of society, especially youth, this cycling expedition. Alhamdulillah, has successfully been implemented as one more way to uphold and show respect for the national flag".

In an interview with The Brunei Times, the expedition coordinator, Hj Ramli Hj Kurus, said the expedition had been beneficial for the participating cyclists. He hoped it would act as a life-long lesson for youth and those handling youth.

"To lead youth is not like leading a herd of animals. We have to look at them as individuals who have their own interests and feelings" said Hj Ramli.

He continued, "The expedition went on for days; it was not a one day event. Emotions have to be taken into consideration. On their part, they had to maintain discipline too as we were going through this expedition as a team".

"I had a big responsibility during the cycling expedition as I was leading the whole group. I had to control my speed and make sure that the cyclists behind me were all right. Some of the participants are new to cycling; I wanted everyone to know that I would not leave anyone behind.

A female cyclist, 28-year-old Nooramalina Bakir, hoped more youths, especially girls, would participate.

"There were not a lot of girls in the expedition. If one of us were ahead, we made sure that we would catch up. The expedition was mentally challenging. Knowing that we were apart during the ride, helped us push through".

She added, "I feel very satisfied with myself. It was a tough ride, but despite it all, we still made it through.

Nooramalina said that she learned teamwork and respect for other cyclists, noting that not everyone was riding the same type of bicycle.

"I ride a Giant Carbon. I have the utmost respect for the fixie cyclists. It was challenging for us but more challenging for them. They did not even stop to rest at any point of the expedition".

A fixie, otherwise known as a fixed-gear or fixed-wheel bicycle functions differently from other bicycles as the rider cannot stop pedalling once they begin. When the rear wheel turns, the pedals turn in the same direction,

One of the fixie cyclists was 17-year old Wafiq Nazri from Temburong. He explained that while fixies were urban bikes, fixie riders decided to bring the challenge up a notch.

"We wanted to bring our bikes throughout the whole country for this expedition to show that we can push through. It made us very proud to know that we completed the expedition with the added challenge".

The added physical challenge did not deter the young cyclist from learning valuable lessons during the course of the expedition.

"Raising the flag and singing the national anthem regularly only made us prouder of our country. I also learned more about teamwork and road safety. We had to stay close and not stray from one another to ensure the whole group's safety".
Nabilah Haris
-- Courtesy of The Brunei Times --


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