Rise for the nation, not money

National 2 minutes, 27 seconds


YOUNG athletes should strive to make the country proud instead of personal glory, said a former national athlete.

Hjh Sanah Tamit, a local female athlete who won three gold medals in two separate international sports competition in 1970, advised young athlete to have good intention when participating in the world of sports.

She was only 17-year-old when she was awarded with two gold medals in javelin and discus competitions during the 48th Malaysian Sports Tournament (Olahraga kejohanan Malaysia) in Ipoh. During the same year, she also received another gold medal for Shot Put competition in the Singapore Sports Festival.

In an interview at her house at Kg Perpindahan Tungku Gadong, Hjh Sanah, who is now 61-year-old, said that she entered the competition without considering personal glory.

“I was driven by my own desire to do sports. I was not influenced by superstar athletes like we see today,” she said.

“At the time, we did not have any sponsors. I remember training without any shoes,” she said.

Despite lacking proper gears compared to other international competitors, Hjh Sanah managed to make Brunei proud.

Sanah said that the countries involved in the competitions were Malaysia (Johore, Negri Sembilan, Perak, Selangor, Kedah, Pulau Pinang, Perlis, Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, Sabah and Sarawak), Singapore, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Australia, Japan and Hong Kong.

“I remember most of the international athletes were bigger and had proper gears during the competition. I was smaller and only wore the same clothes and shorts throughout the competition”, added Hjh Sanah, amused by the glorious moment.

She added that at the time, the technique to do the javelin throw was not as complicated as today.

“I think what’s lacking in young athlete nowadays are the attitude,” said Hjh Sanah.

She highlighted that in today’s world, young people are motivated to join sports because of personal glory and finance.

She said that successful athlete must have a solid mindset to win the competition.

“I think what’s lacking is genuine interest. I was not driven by personal glory during the competition. When I was brought in a parade around the town after winning the gold medals, all I think was to meet my late parents at Temburong,” she said.

Before winning the international competitions, She was a student and lived in a hostel at Sekolah Tinggi Perempuan Raja Isteri (STPRI) in 1965. She was active in various sport activities such as running, jumping and swimming.

“I like sports. It comes naturally. Even now, I like to walk at the park in the morning with my husband every morning,” she said. 

She advised young athlete to always strive to win for the country and not for personal fame.

 “I know it’s difficult for young athlete nowadays not to be influenced by advertisement on television and the internet. But, with the right attitude and intention, Insya Allah, young athletes can win gold medals for Brunei,” added the 61-year-old.

The Brunei Times