BAA regrets its lapses

National 2 minutes, 9 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

BRUNEI Athletics Association (BAA) admitted yesterday that lack of preparation was the root cause of several flaws experienced by the participants.

The participants of Brunei’s first full marathon have complained on the social media about the spelling errors on the finishers’ medals awarded at the end of the race, wherein instead of “international” the medals and its strap spelt out “intemational”.

BAA president Kifli Hj Jaafar admitted that the mistake was partly the organisation’s fault for overlooking the matter, but was not able to give out any specific reason as the association is yet to discuss the matter with the suppliers.

The president apologised for how the marathon was handled and added that they will be more meticulous with the preparations in the future events.

Kifli said that originally, the medals were correctly spelt as “international” but felt that because “r and n were too close, it might have been mistaken for an m”.

“Initially, it was clear what was spelt out but what happened later was beyond our control.”

BAA said that it only received the medal from their overseas supplier on the day of the run itself and had done everything they could prior to ordering them.

“This is our first time organising the event, so in terms of management, administration and registration, this is still a learning process for us,” he said.

He thanked participants for their helpful comments and said that it will be taken into consideration in planning for next iteration of the BSB Marathon. He hoped to see increased participation, especially among international participants.

Originally, BAA expected to have at least 3,000 people participating in the marathon. However, only over 1,000 participants registered.

Due to the lack of participation, the 42km female category had to be cancelled, Kifli said. “Registered participants (of the 42km female category) have been refunded and asked if they would like to participate in the 21km female category instead.”

The president attributed the low turnout to lack of promotion. “We promoted the run too late, as we had to seek approvals from the relevant authorities.”

“Maybe we should’ve planned for this over a one-year period and informed participants early,” Kifli said, adding that it might have given more time for participants to register and train, especially those interested in taking part in the full marathon.

However, the president said that for the first full marathon in the country, “the number of international participants that took part was positive” and that it is something BAA is looking to “improve in the future as well.”

The Brunei Times