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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Enhancement of the country’s sports standard is the indicator of national affairs and nationalistic fervour of the entire nation

Senior General Min Aung Hlaing delivers speech at opening ceremony of 
Tatmadaw (Army, Navy and Air) Sports Competitions for 2017.

Players of Central Command and Northern Command teams trying to control 
the ball in semi-final match.

Nay Pyi Taw February 16

Sport is a nationally honourable activity reflecting the health and fitness and the accomplishments of the entire nation, national unity and strong patriotism. In this regard every country is prioritizing the sports improvement as a national movement, said Commander-in- Chief of Defence Services Senior General Min Aung Hlaing at the opening ceremony of Tatmadaw (Army, Navy, Air) sports competitions for 2017 at Zeyathiri Tatmadaw Stadium here at 3.30 pm yesterday.

Present on the occasion were Senior General Min Aung Hlaing and wife Daw Kyu Kyu Hla, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Commander-in-Chief (Army) Vice-Senior General Soe Win and wife Daw Than Than Nwe, Union ministers, senior military officers of the Office of the Commander-in- Chief and wives, the commander of Nay Pyi Taw Command and wife, Tatmadaw member MPs, officers, other ranks and families of departments and units of the Office of the Commander-in-Chief (Army, Navy, Air), senior officer trainees of the National Defence College, officers, other ranks and families of battalions and units under the Nay Pyi Taw Command, invited guests and athletes.

First, Military Band (Army, Navy, Air) took the respective position followed by the taking positions of flag bearer team led by the parade commander and 17 sports teams.

When the opening of the event was declared, Chairman of Tatmadaw Sports and Physical Education Administration Committee Adjutant-General Lt-Gen Hsan Oo and Nay Pyi Taw Command Commander Maj-Gen Myint Maw released the hot balloons.

Then the Senior General took the salute of the fl ag bearer team led by the parade commander and the athletes. In his opening address, the Senior General in connection with the history of Myanmar sports said as ethnic Myanmar brethrens are healthy, fit, strong and active people the nation’s history of sports level has reached the regional level although it has never touched the global level. Myanmar Track and Field Association led by MA U Maung Gyi emerged in 1939 before the regaining of independence. In 1946 the Myanmar Olympic Committee was founded, and the nation became a member state of International Olympic Committee. Of the two candidates – Governor Sir Hubert Rance and General Aung San – the latter was elected as the Patron of MOC. It shows that Myanmar’s sports history started with national spirit and nationalistic fervour. Myanmar won the highest number of medals in the 1959 Southeast Asian Peninsular Games. The country was at the top level in the regional sports activities. These achievements were the milestones of the sports history proving the country’s high level in the regional sports sector. Myanmar deservingly won the second place in the 27th SEA Games it hosted. Sports victories indicate the dignity of the country and the race and also reflect the national development level. Hence all should collectively strive for the enhancement of the nation’s sports standard.

As to the Tatmadaw’s sports, the Senior General said studying the history of Myanmar’s sports, it could be found that Tatmadaw sportsmen played a part in the success of the country’s sports sector. Football is a kind of game in which Myanmar people achieved much success in its history. Myanmar was in the golden era of football from 1960 to 1975 winning a lot of international events. According to historical records, the country won championship two times in Asia, five times in Southeast Asia and many times in Merdeka Cup, Park Chung-hee Cup, Jakarta Cup and Asian Youth Cup. The Myanmar national football team comprised over 50 Tatmadaw sportspersons in the 10 year-period from 1964 to 1973. Moreover, nationally-selected Tatmadaw sportspersons were able to win medals in other sports and games such as track and field, boxing, weight-lifting, Judo and swimming. Accordingly, the achievements of honourable Tatmadaw sports athletes have always been recorded in Myanmar’s sports history. Besides, those Tatmadawmen who lost their limbs in national defence duties were able to win many medals in international sports events for disabilities. This indicates that they are spiritually able though they are physically unable.

When it comes to sports promoting, sports competitions for Tatmadaw (Army, Navy and Air) have been held since 1962 to turn out good Tatmadaw sportsmen. The Tatmadaw sports and physical education administrative board was established in 1991. Under the board, 27 Tatmadaw sports committees such as boxing committee and track and field committee are formed, and Tatmadaw sportsmen train and compete 29 kinds of sports and games. Military friendly sports events are being held with the armed forces from the neighbouring and regional countries. In 2016, Myanmar was accepted to become the 135th member country of the International Military Sports Council. To help develop Myanmar’s football field, the Tatmadaw Football Academy has been formed so that footballers of younger generation can train themselves in accord with the international standard. Those young footballers are being trained with experienced local and foreign coaches. Trainings for other sports and games such as boxing, shooting and volleyball are also being conducted in a systematic manner with the help of coaches. To facilitate the promotion of Tatmadaw sports, advanced Tatmadaw sports fields and gymnasiums and internationalstandard shooting ranges were built. Myanmar Thaing, a kind of traditional martial arts, was designated as a major Tatmadaw art of defence and initiated as a sports curriculum in Tatmadaw training depots in 2015 for its revitalization. The Tatmadaw sports promotion aimed at helping develop the country’s sports sector and turning out outstanding sports athletes is the goodwill efforts that the Tatmadaw is making in all seriousness.

Regarding the Tatmadaw (Army, Navy and Air) sports competitions, the Senior General said 14 out of the 29 Tatmadaw sports and games will be held this year. The contending teams and Tatmadawmen need to try hard in participating in the competition in order to improve their individual skills and team work. Outstanding and talented soldier athletes will come out from the competitions which will turn out selected athletes who can bring honour to the State. Victories of the Tatmadawmen and family members prove prestige and brilliant skills of the Tatmadaw, and they, being selected athletes of the nation, will have the opportunities to show off patriotic spirit and high capabilities of the nation and the national by conquering the opponents in the international competitions. The Senior General urged them to continuously make efforts for uplifting sports standard of the Tatmadaw with spirit, disciplines, diligence and perseverance.

With regard to the sports and discharging duties, the Senior General stressed the need to have health and fitness for successfully discharging three main duties— State defence duty, training duty and public welfare duty. Especially, the Tatmadawmen must have both physical and mental fitness to be able to bravely perform defence duties with sacrifice of life, blood, sweat and limbs. In so doing, the sports activities are good supports for both physical and mental strengthening and fitness. All Tatmadawmen need to take sports exercises without fail in line with the motto “Health and fitness plays key role for the nation, physical exercise is for the nation” in order to become a Tatmadaw on which the State and the people rely. As joining the sports has nature of creation of better quid pro quo, harmonious cooperation, free from selfishness and seeking united strength, it can help further strengthen unity in the military unit. Participating in sports activities is much beneficial to the Tatmadawmen for carrying out their tasks. Reciprocally, those with high spirit and disciplinary acts as a fine tradition of the Tatmadaw are sure to secure victory in the sports. The Tatmadaw is built with the spirits “Never say to lose, best effort to conquer”, “Do whatever without hesitation” and “Unyielding to the last drop of blood”. Likewise, the Tatmadaw is an organization realizing the motto “Military discipline is life of the Tatmadaw”. Morale and discipline which are basic needs for all Tatmadawmen are essential for a victorious athlete. The Senior General urged the athlete Tatmadawmen to make vigorous efforts to become the selected athletes who bring prestige to the Tatmadaw as well as the State based on full morale and disciplinary acts. They have to strive for sharpening their skills in respective sports events as the high sports standard of the State indicates the national cause and prestige of the entire nationals. The Senior General urged them to make strenuous efforts to become the excellent athletes to be able to realize the golden sports dreams the State and the people aspire by bringing honour to the State.

Then, the Senior General and those present at the ceremony enjoyed the first semi-final match between the Northern Command team and the Central Command team in the Group (A) of the Commander-in- Chief of Defence Services’ Trophy Tatmadaw (Army, Navy and Air) Football Tournament.

In the semi-final match, the both teams were held at a 1-1 draw till the final whistle. Despite playing the 30-minute extra time, the both sides scored one goal each other. After the penalty decision with a 4-2 result, the Northern Command team cruised into the final with a 6-4 win over the Central Command team.

The Myawady Daily

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