SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
THE IDEA IS TO RAISE MONEY FOR THE POOR…
8 Brunei chess players to scale Everest
Logo of Brunei Chess FederationBy Al-Haadi Abu Bakar Jan 24th, 2010
EIGHT Bruneian men are set to scale Mt Everest in the Himalayas in April as part of a charity project to help poor families in Brunei.
The group of high-climbing achievers, who are members of the Brunei Chess Federation (BCF), will be setting off for the highest mountain in the world from the Nepalese capital, Kathmandu.
Mohd Ali with FIDE president Kirsan
Led by Hj Zainal Hj Mohd Ali, president of BCF, the expedition is the team’s support to His Majesty’s Government’s commitment to improving the welfare and quality of citizens under the national strategic plan Vision 2035.
“Aside from … (becoming) the first team from Brunei to set foot on the peak of Everest, our primary mission of this expedition is to raise funds for those in need and to improve their lives,” said Hj Zainal Abidin, adding that 100 per cent of the funds collected will go to the National Welfare Fund.
The group has undergone training for over a year, both locally and abroad, with each member funding their training and the upcoming expedition themselves.
Beginning their expedition on April 23, the group will begin their Everest trek from Lukla, a town popularly known as the starting point for climbers before beginning their ascent to what has been called the “Roof of the World”.
The expedition is expected to take 16 days before they reach the South Base Camp of Everest, some 60 kilometres away and 5,360 metres above sea level.
During their stay at the camp, the team will play a chess tournament to signify their most highest point of playing a game of chess in the federation’s history.
“We hope to add a further boost to the charity fund for those in need, as well as to add on the Bruneian flag to the array of other national flags that have been planted at the Everest Base Camp, in a symbol of the people’s ‘can-do’ spirit,” said Hj Zainal Abidin.
The Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports through the Community Development Department (Japem) yesterday launched the National Welfare Fund dedicated to the historic expedition, dubbed the “Everest Trekking” charity project.
Launching the project was Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Pehin Orang Kaya Setia Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Ahmad Hj Jumat, who later watched a short video of the planned expedition, as well as toured a booth display of one of the sponsors, GL Extra Enterprise, who will provide the gears and equipment for the team throughout the expedition at the Himalayas.
Also present to witness the launch was Dato Paduka Hj Jemat Ampal, permanent secretary at the ministry.
Japem hopes that they would raise as much as $50,000 from the project, and welcomed the public to make donations to the National Welfare Fund Secretariat at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, through a cheque written to BCF TREKKING AMAL at HSBC or online at www.trekkingamal.com.bn.
The Brunei Times
SPRAGGETT ON CHESS