The joyous early morning atmosphere enlivened the capital, Bandar Seri Begawan with all levels of the community joining His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar 'Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam in the Royal Birthday Cycling Recreation 2018. The relaxed but meaningful event aimed at shaping a culture of sports and strengthening unity through a comprehensive involvement of the society towards efforts to establish healthy citizens.

Upon arrival at the Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar 'Ali Saifuddien, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam was greeted by Yang Berhormat Retired Major General Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports and Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia Doctor Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong, Minister of Home Affairs;

Also in attendance were His Majesty's sons, brother and daughter,

- His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office;

- His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul Mateen;

- His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah; and

- Her Royal Highness Princess Ameerah Wardatul Bolkiah.

His Majesty's arrival was accompanied by the Royal Birthday Song performed by the choir comprising the Alumni of the Ship for South East Asia and Japan Youth Programme as well as children with special needs from the Special Olympics Brunei Darussalam.

Awangku Abdul Azim Bin Pengiran Yussof, the head of the Education Bureau, Transformational Youth Club sounded the horn to signal the start of the cycling recreation event.

Cabinet Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Permanent Secretaries and Deputy Permanent Secretaries were among those joining the 11 kilometre cycling event.

Since its introduction in 2016, the Royal Birthday Cycling event has received a very encouraging response not only from adults but also children who took the opportunity to carry out the recreation activity with their families.

The cycling route involved a number of main roads around Bandar Seri Begawan. Among them were Jalan Masjid Omar Ali Saifuddien, Jalan Kianggeh, Jalan Sekolah, Jalan Kumbang Pasang, Jalan Perdana Menteri, Jalan Haji Basir and ending at Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar 'Ali Saifuddien.

The high spirit of sportsmanship and the involvement of the monarch has certainly given a boost to his subjects to together make a practise of a healthy lifestyle and being active.

The recreation event was jointly organised by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Religious Affairs and Ministry of Health as well as the involvement of other ministries and the Brunei Darussalam Cycling Association. It shows that the sport has been given the recognition, and encouragement at par with other social sectors.

The Royal Birthday Cycling Recreation is an added value to the Bandarku Ceria Programme held every Sunday and has always received a positive response from all levels of the community.

Such an event acts as a platform to the citizens and residents to carry out physical activities with the monarch. A healthy and united population can establish a nation that has a sustainable and productive human resource which can help the country development sustainably.

After the recreation event, His Majesty watched the parade of 72 cyclists from the four districts who completed 72 kilometres which started earlier at the Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar Ali Saifuddien at 6.30 in the morning. His Majesty then received Pasambah.

The Royal Birthday Cycling Recreation shows that it is not only a healthy activity but can also unite all levels of the country's society.

Source: Radio Television Brunei