Richard Sam Bera: Aspiring to nurture professional sports

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Richard Sam Bera. (Photo: KEMENPORA Doc.)

IO – President Joko Widodo has issued Presidential Decree number 112 of 2020 concerning the dissolution of several bodies, including the Indonesian Professional Sports Agency (BOPI). While BOPI Chairman Richard Sam Bera will abide by the decision, as BOPI is an institution formed by the government through the Ministry of Youth and Sports, he hopes there will still be an institution that devotes attention to professional Indonesian sports. 

The professional sports industry is currently experiencing rapid development and deserves attention because professional sports have contributed to Indonesia’s economic growth and have become a source of livelihood for Indonesian professional athletes and other people, such as referees and other match officials. 

“Currently the professional sports industry in Indonesia is growing rapidly and the government must be present there to keep the industry developing properly, fair for all involved, and under prevailing laws and regulations, even though BOPI is currently being dissolved,” he said. 

“Hopefully after the dissolution of BOPI, the government will continue to foster the professional sports industry with clear authority – whatever the form of the institutional body in the future – to ensure the development of the Indonesian professional sports industry,” added Richard, who is also an Indonesian Olympian. 

Richard appeared in three Olympics, namely, the 1988 Seoul Olympics, the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, and the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. 

Richard is the former swimming pool king of Southeast Asia. Winner of the 100-meter freestyle gold medal at the 1997 Jakarta SEA Games, the 1999 Brunei Darussalam SEA Games, the 2001 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games and the 2005 Manila SEA Games, as well as a 50-meter gold medal at the 1995 Chiang Mai SEA Games, the 1997 Jakarta SEA Games, The 1999 Brunei Darussalam SEA Games and the 2001 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games. He was also a bronze medalist for the 100-meter distance at the 1990 Beijing Asian Games. 

Richard was appointed General Chair of BOPI on May 14, 2018, by then Minister of Youth and Sports Imam Nahrawi. “Representing all BOPI administrators, I would like to thank all who have coordinated, supported, and helped us in carrying out our duties so far. We also apologize if there are things that were not pleasing to all concerned. Hopefully what we have done so far will be seen as beneficial for the Indonesian professional sports industry.” 

The term of office of BOPI management ended last March and there have been no new board appointments. Another body formed by the Ministry of Youth and Sports and dissolved through a Presidential Regulation was the National Accreditation Standardization Body for Organizations (BSANK). 

“As stated in the Presidential Decree, the tasks that have been carried out by the two institutions will be returned to the relevant ministries, in this case, the Ministry of Youth and Sports,” said the Minister of Youth and Sports, Zainuddin Amali. 

“What needs to be followed up on is the readiness of the Ministry to continue the activities that have been previously carried out by BSANK and BOPI.” “We will adjust to this because it concerns professional sports. We’ll take a look at what is already there. Do not let us be out of step. We will discuss with each sport federation, such as Liga 1, IBL, and others. We will hold talks with the competition managers as well,” he explained. 

“We don’t want to complicate the bureaucracy, because that’s what the President directed to us via the Ministers. Don’t make the bureaucratic chain long.” (rp)