British High Commission Holds Olympic Truce Event with the RBAF One Month to Go Till London 2012
BERAKAS GARISSON, Wednesday 27 June 2012 - To mark exactly one month to go until the London 2012 Olympic Games, and to underline the UK and Brunei’s shared support for the UN Resolution entitled “Building a peaceful and better world through sport and the Olympic ideal”, the British High Commission, with the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF), will hold a Mini Athletics event at Berakas Garrison Stadium. The occassion celebrates the “Olympic Truce” ideals of peace among nations during the Games and complements the reputation of the ‘Abode of Peace’ as an international peacekeeper.
The RBAF and personnel from the Garrison in Seria, who regularly train and exercise together, have been invited to swap their boots for running shoes, and – in the same friendly spirit – test themselves over 100m, 200m, 400m and 800 metres. There will also be a 4x100m relay (in which the High Commission is fielding a team) and a 4x400m relay, in which the Prisons Department and the Royal Brunei Police Force will join the race for gold, silver or bronze. Friends, family and supporters are encouraged to come and cheer them on.
The British High Commission in Brunei have organised several Olympic-related activities already this year marking the countdown to the London 2012 Games. This time, they want to show that the Olympic Games are about more than just sport; they are also about nations coming together, camaraderie, triumphs, friendships, partnerships, excellence and courage.
The Olympic Truce was first declared in ancient Greece to provide safe passage for athletes, artists, pilgrims and families travelling to Olympia. The ideals that underpin the Olympic Truce are being given fresh impetus ahead of London 2012 through national and international activities.
British High Commissioner, HE Rob Fenn said: “Britain reserves special respect for peacekeepers like Brunei Darussalam. It is a role we aspire to ourselves, and it can take many forms, but its greatest practitioners are the selfless nations who send their troops on peacekeeping duty far from home. Keeping the peace can be more demanding of a soldier’s skills than fighting a war. To be successful, a peacekeeping force must have the full panoply of military skills, plus all those in the diplomatic arsenal. Our Olympic Truce event, therefore, should be seen as a tribute paid by diplomats to the men and women of the RBAF and to Brunei’s other security professionals. Either by direct involvement in Lebanon and Mindano, or by boosting the reputation of their country in other ways, they give peacekeeping a good name. The international community has many grounds to be grateful to the “Abode of Peace”.
Today the Olympic movement uses the Games to promote peace and generate a common understanding through the shared language of sport, education, and culture. In October last year the UK put forward an Olympic Truce Resolution in the UN General Assembly which was unanimously co-sponsored by all 193 UN Members States. This was a tremendous show of international support, which has since been demonstrated through the broad range of Olympic Truce activities that the UK has undertaken around the world in partnership with National Olympic Committees, host Governments and a range of NGOs. Our diplomatic missions have been bringing together different communities and ethnicities on neutral ground, to participate in various sporting and educational activities, where they set aside social and political differences.
UK Foreign Office Minister Henry Bellingham said: “Our success is based on our partnerships. As such, we greatly look forward to continuing our partnership on the Olympic Truce with the United Nations and the International Olympic Committee, as well as Russia and Brazil as future host nations ahead of Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016. Creating new partnerships and raising ambitions for the Olympic Truce ideals is part of the UK’s Olympic and Paralympic legacy.”
Photos by LCpl Hj Helmi Hj Abd Latif