Dear people of Brunei, thank you for all your responses to last week’s column.http://www.bt.com.bn/happenings/2015/01/15/3rd-rbc-dry-cleaning-service-outlet-caters-rimba-sengkurong-areas
Last week’s column received over 600 likes on Facebook, 400 plus WhatsApp messages (8966930) and more than 160 emails (firstname.lastname@example.org).
This is well over 1,000 reactions to the article I wrote about starting the Learn to Swim Movement!
Thank you for sharing your stories, the many suggestions and enquiries, and for your support towards putting swimming lessons on the national agenda.
As I highlighted last week, not many people in Brunei know how to swim and therefore don’t know how to save themselves from drowning.
And drowning in water means death – it’s as firm and gloomy as that.
These swimming lessons can take place at any age, but it’s easier to pick it up when you’re younger than when you’re older.
You only have to learn the skill of swimming once and it will stay with you for the rest of your life. This truly makes learning how to swim the gift of a lifetime and a skill for life.
Therefore I would highly encourage all parents to give that gift to their children. And where better to gift and teach this life skill than in the schools?
It is my personal goal to achieve Learn to Swim programmes in schools as part of the PE (Physical Education) lessons. During the past four years I have had numerous discussion with ministries, schools, teachers, coaches and others to ask them to endorse these plans.
So far, this has been without success!
As I said before, I received well over 1,000 responses from people like you regarding the Learn to Swim movement. I have summarised a few for you and I hope you like them as much as I do.
*Most supportive responses came from Brunei, but I also received messages from Bruneians living in the UK, New York, Australia and Singapore!
*“I’m a Muslim woman and our religion actually encourages us to swim as a healthy activity. Me and my friends would love to swim but we simply don’t know how, we have never had swimming lessons. Is there any learning to swim for adults taking place by female instructors?”
YES there is!!! Please check (www.bruneiswimming.com/swimming/swimming-clubs-in-brunei) for a complete list of clubs and coaches, including female coaches.
*“How long will it take me to learn how to swim?”
This will largely depend on the amount of invested time but generally speaking ANYONE should be able to learn to swim after six to nine months.
*“We were inspired with your story about learning to swim in school and now we want to set up a swimming club for LTS within our school. How do we start? (from one school in Tutong and two schools in Bandar!)”
All course and teaching material will be provide to you free of charge as well as three to four times a year certification swimming opportunities. Please contact me for more information.
*“How much are the fees and when can I start?”
Brunei has free of charge swimming schemes in the Brunei-Muara, Tutong and Temburong. Clubs will generally charge you a fee. You can contact schemes clubs or coaches directly via (www.bruneiswimming.com/swimming/swimming-clubs-in-brunei)
*“I know how to swim already but I want to improve my health by using swimming as a sport and healthactivity. What can you do for me?”
I encourage you to contact one of the swimming clubs in Brunei or to have a look at our SWIMFIT
programme (www.bruneiswimming.com/swimfit) *How do I join and support the Learn to Swim movement?”
Currently the Learn to Swim movement is a group of people, including myself, who feel learning to swim needs to be put on the national agenda. Leave your name and number and I will get back to you for future endeavours.
And here are a few suggestions from the public:
*UBD: You’re building a new swimming pool, how about learn to swim classes for your students? *MOE: If I’m correct, the curriculum or co-curriculum states swimming is a subject. When is this happening?
*JBS: Culture, Youth and Sports; LTS covers both youth and sports, so… Let’s promote swimming!
*JIS & ISB: Keep doing what you’re doing and lead the way with swimming lessons at your school!
*Youth centers, Yacht Club and gyms (JPMC). Where are your swimming lessons?
Let me finish today’s column with a familiar quote and an unfamiliar metaphor:
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step (Lao Tzu 604-531 BC).
You can wait for that perfect shot to end up at your feet and maybe you will score a goal that day, or you can kick the ball, start it rolling and who knows where it might end up (Eric Landa, 2015).
(Eric Landa, PhD, is the aquatic sports head coach of Brunei and his other ambitious goal is to deliver the first ever aquatics medal for Brunei by the 2019 SEA Games.)
The Brunei Times
Wednesday, January 7, 2015
DEAR people of Brunei, I have something to share with you. I’m going to rock the boat and stick out my neck. Again.
As the National Aquatics Head Coach of Brunei Darussalam, it is my responsibility to promote swimming, to put future plans in place and to discuss this with the authorities. Simply put, I’m here to improve all aspects of swimming within the Sultanate.
Over the past four years we have made good progress at the competitive level, but it will take a few more years to achieve our goals.
And at the Learn to Swim level (LTS) 600 people have achieved Learn to Swim certificates since we started the program in 2012.
All great news, but let’s not fool ourselves. Six hundred certificates from a population of almost 400,000 people is like bringing water to the sea.
The reality today is that many Bruneians do not know how to swim, and it troubles me deeply that many of these people are willing to learn but simply don’t know where to ask for help and are afraid to take the first step.
But what is even more worrying is that parents who cannot swim keep their children away from swimming. Their personal fear is often transferred to their children: “water is dangerous, stay away from it!”
Every year since I’ve lived in Brunei, people have died from drowning (three people in the past two months alone) while this often could have been avoided.
I think that we can all agree that knowing how to swim will significantly increase your survival chances in water.
After consulting both cultural and religious leaders in Brunei, I also believe strongly that there are absolutely no objections against learning to swim from their sides.
During the past four years I have had numerous discussion with ministries, schools, teachers, coaches and others to ask them to endorse my future plans, which are simple:
1) Let’s create Learn to Swim programmes for the public schools in Brunei as part of their PE (Physical Education) lessons, so that every boy and girl in Brunei will be able to swim and save themselves in the water after a six-month investment.
2) Let’s create a Learn to Swim (LTS) program for adults so that these adults are confident in and around water, learn to swim, learn about water safety and hopefully transfer this positive experience to their children.
When I’m meeting with the authorities they are all ears, but when it comes to action and change?
Change is exactly what is needed in this case to make a positive impact on human lives. On the lives of thousands of Bruneians!
So… Since I’m not able to make this change happen on my own, maybe your collective opinion and actions can convince them!
Maybe when I turn up at the next meeting with hundreds of people saying that Learn to Swim programmes in schools and adult learn to swim programmes are a great way to make a positive change in the country, to give people the gift of a lifetime, being able to safe themselves in the water, maybe that will have more impact!
Maybe that will convince them!
So what I’m asking of you is this: Become part of the Learn to Swim MOVEMENT and show your support for these two ideas. You can do that in any of the following ways.
LIKE this article (http://www.bt.com.bn/sports-national/2015/01/07/start-learn-swim-movement) on Facebook or SHARE it with your FRIENDS or SEND me (Eric) a WhatsApp message on 8966930 or SEND me (Eric) an email at email@example.com
Whichever way you prefer is up to you, but please start talking about this, share your opinion, start the ball rolling and then maybe in 2015 we will all agree that swimming is indeed an important life skill and truly the gift of a lifetime!
I’m counting on YOU!
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step (Lao Tzu, 604-531 BC).
Thank you all very much. I promise to report back on the outcome of my request in next week’s column!
(Eric Landa, PhD, is the aquatic sports head coach of Brunei and his ambitious goal is to deliver the first ever aquatics medal for Brunei by the 2019 SEA Games)
The Brunei Times
Brunei took part at the World short course Swimming Championships from 3-7 December 2014 in Doha-Qatar with 3 swimmers.
The results after 5 competition days in the excellent Hamad Aquatics Centre in Doha:
*NEW National record 50 free, Tiara Shahril Anwar 27.54, was 28.52 by Amnahliyani Mohd. Husain (10 Nov. 2012)
*NEW National record 100 free, Tiara Shahril Anwar 1.00.54, was 1.01.02 by Tiara Shahril Anwar (6 Nov. 2013)
*NEW National record 200 free, Tiara Shahril Anwar 2.08.15, was 2.33.93 by Florrence Sea Wern Lin (11 Sept. 2011)
*NEW National record 100 breast, Muhammad Isa Ahmad 1.06.83, was 1.07.40 by Muhammad Isa Ahmad (11 Nov. 2012)
other results from Doha:
50 breast, Muhammad Isa Ahmad 31.16
50 free, Christian Nikles 24.76
100 free, Christian Nikles 54.27
50 fly, Christian Nikles 26.40
CHRISTIAN Nikles swam to 4 new short course national open records last weekend, capping off a shining week for the sport after 23 national records were broken or set.
Nikles and fellow national swimmer Muhammad Isa Ahmad have been studying and swimming for Millfield College in the United Kingdom since September, and competing at the Millfield and TDS Short Course competition, Nikles set a quartet of new records.
In an email sent by Eric Landa yesterday, the national aquatics coach said Nikles broke records in the 100m freestyle, 50m freestyle, 50m breaststroke and 50m butterfly.
Combined with the 19 national records set or broken at the three-day 3rd Brunei Open Swimming Championships which ended on Sunday at the Aquatics Centre of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas, last week’s haul bodes well for the national team ahead of their trip to the World Short Course Swimming Championships in Doha, Qatar from Dec 2-7.
Since Landa’s arrival in 2011, over 400 national records have been set and broken, and the four swimmers who broke the 19 records – and Nikles when he was still in Brunei – all swam either full-time or part-time at the COE (Centre of Excellence), a 25-hour weekly training programme the coach created in 2011 to raise the level of swimming in Brunei towards the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Brunei and beyond.
“I was expecting the COE swimmers to do well. All the record breakers or setters are either full-time or part-time training with COE, and I know the work we’ve done – so I’m happy the work paid off,” he said.
A mainstay of the national team, Nikles, 17, timed 53.37 in the 100m freestyle at the Millfield and TDS
Short Course competition, breaking his old record of 54.21 which he set in Dec 2012. He clocked 24.36 in the 50m freestyle, breaking his old record of 24.63 which he set in Nov 2012.
His times for the 50m breaststroke and 50m butterfly are 30.86 and 26.26, bettering the previous best of 30.91 and 27.71 set by Hj Abdul Rudi Hj Abdul Rahim in Nov 2012 and Lim Jyh Jye in Dec 2010.
Meanwhile at the 3rd Brunei Open Swimming Championships, His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Wakeel set a new age group (eight years old) record in the men’s 100m breaststroke event after clocking 2:19.66 in Heat 2.
Micia Swimming Team’s Nur Haziq Samil, 13, was the best performer at the Nov 14-16 meet after setting seven new records (200m individual medley, 400m freestyle, 800m freestyle, 1500m freestyle, 50m backstroke, 100m backstroke and 200m backstroke) in his age group.
Jerudong International School’s Tiara Shahril Anwar, 17, broke six national records – three open and three age-group – at the competition after clocking 2:12.56 in the women’s 200m freestyle, 4:39.54 in the 400m freestyle and 9:45.45 in the 800m freestyle.
The old records were 2:13.50, 4:48.14 and 9:53.37, all of which she set in April.
International School Brunei’s Breanna Lee Le Er, 7, also impressed after setting five new national age group records in the women’s 50m freestyle (59.62), 100m freestyle (2.19.14), 50m breaststroke (1.18.27), 50m backstroke (1.10.24) and 50m butterfly (1.05.49).
The Brunei Times, 18 November 2014
The Brunei Amateur Swimming Association (BASA) will organise the 3rd Brunei Open Swimming Championships on 14, 15 & 16 November 2014.
All swimmers ages 7 and over (there is no maximum age limit) are encouraged to compete in:
4×100 free, 4×200 free, 4×100 medley RELAY
The program and rules and regulations can be downloaded here: Brunei OPEN Rules and Regulations 2014
Competition program:meet program – final – 141113b
Time sheet: session report – 141112
Should you wish to compete at this competition but you are not a member of a swimming club?
Let us know and we will help you find a solution! firstname.lastname@example.org
A total of 128 swimmers from 11 clubs – nine from the Sultanate and two from Miri – competed for top honours at the one-day meet.
The ISB Hammerheads were the overall winners with a total haul of nine gold, nine silver and seven bronze medals.
Royal Brunei Recreational Club finished second with five gold, five silver and five bronze medals.
Jerudong Swim Club were third with two gold, five silver and four bronze medals to their name.
MICIA Swim Team, Department of Youth and Sports’ Brunei-Muara swimming scheme, Department of Youth and Sports’ Tutong swimming scheme, Hornbill School, Brunei Speed Swim Club and Dolphin Swim Club were the other teams from Brunei. Representing Miri were Gymkhana Club and KRPM Club.
Also his Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday stopped by the Aquatics Centre of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas for the Brunei 7-9 Years Swimming Championship 2014.
His Majesty was accompanied by His Royal Highness Prince Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah.
HRH Prince ‘Abdul Wakeel and HRH Prince ‘Abdul Muntaqim, who were both swimming under the banner of ISB Hammerheads, competed in the eight-year and seven-year-old categories respectively.
HRH Princess Ameerah Wardatul Bolkiah and HRH Princess Muneerah Madhul Bolkiah were also in attendance.
He finished 13th out of 22 swimmers in the freestyle event with a time of 25.55s.
He then followed that up with a 10th place finish out of the 14 swimmers in the butterfly event, clocking 33.17s before coming in fifth out of 16 swimmers in the breaststroke event with a time of 33.87s.
HRH Prince ‘Abdul Wakeel was first in his heat in the breaststroke event and third in the freestyle event.
He defeated 13 other swimmers to finish at the top of the freestyle event with a time of 21.93s.
He teamed up with Anastase Guiliou, Breanna Lee Le Er and Maria Angelina Dowling to win gold in the mixed 25m freestyle relay with a time of 1:52.48.
He bagged the bronze medal in the five-contestant butterfly event by clocking 32.66s and added another bronze in the 12-contestant backstroke event when he came in at 31.16s.
The only event he failed to get on the podium was the breaststroke where he placed sixth out of 10 others with a time of 35.83s.
(source Brunei Times 20-10-2014)
On Sunday morning 12 October 2014 166 swimmers gathered with their respective coaches and parents to be tested under the LTS-Brunei Learn to Swim certification system. Learn to Swim-Brunei is a free of charge service developed by National Headcoach Eric Landa, to get more Bruneians to learn how to swim properly for their safety, pleasure and health. 162 swimmers passed the swimming tests.
The LTS-BRUNEI 2012-2017 system is based on the best programs in the world, I’ve taken the best programs and compiled them into something very suitable for any age and any place in Brunei.
We work with 7 different levels, from easy to difficult. Were the last level (level 7) is close to competitive swimming and training. The uniqueness of this program is that anyone can join or practice for it. It is freely available to any coach or club, skim or school or any private coach or swimmer to take a look at and work with. We have no secrets, or hidden agenda. The goal is simply to have as many certified Learn to Swim kids by 2017, which I believe is really important.
Every year we conduct 3-4 certification days and today was the 2nd time in 2014. The 3rd time will take place in November 2014 in Tutong.
Currently we have active swimming programs in Bandar, Tutong and Temburong. My focus has been to develop KB for the past 3 years now. The wait is still for JBS to endorse a coach in KB, at the Mumong swimming pool. Learning to swim and saving yourself in the water is a skill for life, which is the greatest gift you can give anybody young or old, frankly…
Since we started in 2012 we’ve handed out approximately 600 Learn to Swim-Brunei certificates. Although this is a great number, the real challenge here is starting learn to swim in schools. In my opinion children should learn how to swim as part of their PE lessons. I’m working very hard to accomplish this. And I have good faith this will be a reality in the nearby future.
I’m pleased to also share with you that from August 2014 we have started a follow up of the Learn to swim programs which is Learn to train. This takes place 3x a week from 7-8:30PM at the Berakas National Stadium. This is to groom the next generation of swimmers in the sultanate. If you are interested, sent en email to email@example.com or visit bruneiswimming.com
It is with great pleasure that BASA invites clubs and swimmers to take part in the upcoming 7-9 years Swimming Championship.
NATIONAL aquatics coach Eric Landa strongly believes that there is no place for doping, not only in swimming, but for every sport.
Landa’s passion towards the subject culminated in him helping the Brunei Darussalam Anti-Doping Committee (BDADC) hold a lecture for his swimmers and their parents two weeks ago .
“I was very surprised to hear from the BDADC that swimming was actually the first association that approached them with this request,” said Landa.
“Although we absolutely have no doping problems in swimming, I believe in being proactive and not in being reactive,” he said.
“We all know that at the end of last year, two young athletes were caught for doping… I was expecting that the two federations, who were clearly affected by the actions of these two individual athletes, to take immediate action to educate their other athletes.
“There is no place for doping in sports… We cannot be clear enough on that.
“I applaud BDNOC (Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council) for following through with a two year ban for these individuals.
“I hope many other federations will follow our example in educating the youth on this very important subject and to pledge to play true and say no to doping,” stressed Landa.
At the end of the two hour presentation, the national swimmers made a vocal and written pledge saying, “I’m an athlete who has the right to participate in a clean sport. I will uphold this right by competing in the spirit of the sport, by respecting my competitors, my sport and all those involved in my sporting endeavors. I will play true and say no to doping.”
Landa also shared with The Brunei Times that while he was going over the rules and regulations of doping, he noticed that under the civil law in Brunei, you cannot possess, use or traffic drugs.
“Some doping substances are in fact drugs… Performance enhancing drugs,” noted Landa.
“I would like to recommend to the responsible and capable parties to investigate if it would be possible to put doping under civil law to simplify punishing people for the usage, possession and administration of doping.
“I think this idea is worth looking into although I can see some things not being black and white because some forms of doping is in fact medication for very severe diseases.
“I know of some countries that have put doping under civil law and they have had a successful outcome in their battle against doping,” said the coach.
Mainly eight offences under the anti-doping law were highlighted during the lecture on Aug 15.
They were the presence of a prohibited substance in an athlete’s sample, the use or attempted use of a prohibited substance, the refusal to submit to sample collection and failing to file the athlete’s whereabouts and missing a test.
It also included tampering with any part of the doping control process, possession of a prohibited substance, trafficking of any prohibited substance and administering or attempting to administer a prohibited substance to an athlete.
During the talk Landa and BDADC also spoke on why they were strongly against the use of supplements, due to the risk of contamination.
BDADC also touched on other topics related to doping, such as testing methods and responsibility of athletes and coaches to make sure aquatics remain a pure and clean sport.
The first edition on this competition was organised in 2012, now in 2014 and the next will be in 2016.
It alternates with the SEA Games, one year SEA Games, the other year SEA-Swimming Championships, etc.
The sports tournament being organised are swimming, waterpolo, diving and synchronised swimming and the venue is the NEW Singapore Sports Hub, the same venue as for the 2015 Singapore SEA GAMES.
3 swimmers are here to compete for Brunei. Christian Nikles, Muhammad Isa Ahmad and Tiara Shahril Anwar.
This is also the 3rd competition in 3 weeks for the trio as they competed in the SEA-Age Group Swimming Championships in Singapore 6-8 June, then the Brunei Interclub Swimming Championships 13-15 June in Brunei and now the SEA Swimming Championships 17-22 June in Singapore.
Christian Nikles finished 6th in the 50m backstroke in a time of 28.96 which is a new National OPEN and New National AGE GROUP record bettering his own time of 29.26 from 23 Nov. 2013
Christian Nikles finished 8th in the 50m freestyle in a time of 25.33