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Speech By Mr Teo Chee Hean, Deputy Prime Minister, Coordinating Minister For National Security And Minister For Home Affairs

SPEECH: SPEECH BY GUEST OF HONOUR, MR TEO CHEE HEAN, DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER, COORDINATING MINISTER FOR NATIONAL SECURITY AND MINISTER FOR HOME AFFAIRS, AND PRESIDENT OF THE SINGAPORE NATIONAL OLYMPIC COUNCIL
EVENT: THE SINGAPORE SPORTS AWARDS 2011
VENUE: THE ORCHARD HOTEL
DATE: 25 MAY 2011

Major General (NS) Chan Chun Sing, Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports;

Officials and Athletes;

Sponsors and partners;

Media Friends;

Ladies and Gentlemen;

A very good evening to you.

  1. Living in a nation of many races and many cultures, we need to find a common ground. Sport is that common ground, the space we can all share and celebrate. Sport is our opportunity to unite as one, regardless of language, religion, race or age.
  2. We embraced this opportunity many, many times in 2010, thanks to everyone here tonight—thanks to you. As our Team Singapore athletes and officials, you rallied the country together with your gallant efforts and courageous displays of fighting spirit. People used to ask: why does sport matter? The answer is quite simple: Sport matters because of the way you make us feel: about ourselves and our country.
  3. Team Singapore, you made us stand proud in 2010. With dedication, courage and perseverance, you delivered exhilarating performances and heart-stopping moments throughout the year. Whether we were at home with our families, or in coffee shops with friends, or at sports venues around Singapore or overseas, we stood united in one voice to cheer on our sports heroes.
  4. I am proud that tonight, we have many, if not all of our Class of 2010, here in our midst. And before I continue with the rest of my speech, please let me personally thank each and every one of you for providing us with all those very special moments throughout 2010. (PAUSE, RAISE YOUR ARMS AND LEAD IN APPLAUSE FOR ATHLETES AND OFFICIALS)
  5. Singapore has come a long way in developing our sporting talent in the past decade. Through the outstanding performance of our athletes in major multi-sport events last year, like the Youth Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games and Asian Games, among others, we proved how far we have come. And true to the Singapore spirit, we showed the world what our athletes were made of and that we could compete with the best in the region and the world.
  6. You displayed true grit and determination in the face of great adversity. We witnessed your moments of triumph and, yes, of anguish. And on every occasion, your spirit captured our hearts.
  7. For every medal you won, for the sweat and the tears, for every strained muscle, you need to know how much you have inspired us. Because of you, there is a little boy or girl out there, who will be inspired to pick up a bat or kick a ball or don a pair of running shoes. All with the hope of following in the footsteps of their heroes. (PAUSE)
  8. You. (PAUSE)
  9. With a very exciting sporting calendar coming up in the second half of this year, Singaporeans will once again get to rally behind our Team Singapore athletes. The excitement starts as we see our very own YOG boys football team play in the upcoming 23rd Canon Lion City Cup next month. The Li Ning Singapore Open 2011, also in June, is an Olympic qualifying event for London 2012. In July, Singapore will play host to the Mission Foods World Netball Championships 2011 Singapore. In October, the 2011 ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships and the 2011 Volkswagen Women’s World Cup will be coming to town. And in November, Team Singapore will fly our colours high at the 26th SEA Games in Indonesia in November.
  10. To conclude, please allow me to thank you all – from our athletes to our officials and coaches, from the support staff to all our stakeholders. All of you have played key roles in bringing Singapore to where we are today in the world of sport.
  11. I hope the Singapore Sports Awards will encourage all of you to work harder and push yourselves even further so that you are able to achieve all your sporting hopes and dreams. And on behalf of all Singaporeans, please continue to provide us with many more special sporting moments. Every time you reach for the stars, you make us proud. You help us build partnerships, strengthen our community bonds and unite as one Singapore.
  12. You have the power to bring our nation to its feet.
  13. You have, you do, and I am sure, you will.

Thank you.

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