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Speech By 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 2012
VENUE: THE RAFFLES CITY CONVENTION CENTRE
DATE: 29 MAY 2012

President Tony Tan Keng Yam & Mrs Mary Tan; and Patron-in-Chief of the Singapore National Olympic Council
Mr Chan Chun Sing, Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports and Minister of State for Information, Communications and the Arts;
Mr Low Teo Ping, Organising Committee Chairman and Vice President, SNOC
Officials and Athletes;
Sponsors and partners;
Media Partners;
Ladies and Gentlemen;
A very good evening to you.

  1. It is a great pleasure and honour for me to join all of you here tonight for the Singapore Sports Awards 2012.
  2. Sport teaches us to work hard, and aspire to perform to the best of our abilities. It teaches us to play by the rules, and to play together as a team with others regardless of race or religion. It teaches us to be humble with success, and to handle loss with dignity. It teaches us about loyalty and commitment to team and country, whether we win or not. These are all lessons which we can apply throughout our lives. And such qualities are not just valuable in our athletes, but throughout society regardless of age or profession.
  3. Sport is by no means the silver bullet to solve complex and fundamentally important issues. But we can all live better through sports. Indeed, this is the theme for Vision 2030, a blueprint drawn up by the Singapore Sports Council and the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports. It incorporates the ideas, inputs and views of the sports community and people from all walks of life in Singapore. Vision 2030 sets out a sports blueprint to take our nation forth with the qualities needed to face the future challenges. I am encouraged by the 19 preliminary recommendations, and look forward to seeing how we can use sports to everyone’s benefit.
  4. We are gathered here today, to pay tribute to our top sporting talents, congratulate them on a job well done, and spur them on to do even better in their future sporting pursuits. 2011 has been another momentous year for Team Singapore.
    • In Badminton, Fu Mingtian displayed a never-say-die attitude when she went up against hot favourite, Andriani Firdasari in the SEA Games Final, in the cauldron of Senayan Sports Complex, and emerged victorious. It was Singapore’s first gold medal in the SEA Games Women’s Individual Event for Badminton.
    • In Swimming, Joseph Schooling secured himself a coveted place to the London 2012 Olympic Games by meeting the ‘A’ Qualifying mark. Our other swimmers, including Tao Li, Amanda Lim and Quah Zheng Wen, all performed very well in Palembang.
    • Our National Wushu Women’s Duilian Team did not only win SEA Games gold medals, but were also crowned world champions in Turkey.
    • Our Sailors also did us proud at the Asian and World Championships.
  5. So, it was no surprise that the Singapore Sports Awards Selection Committee found ourselves having to make a difficult decision in choosing the finalists, and subsequently a winner, for each award category. But this is a happy problem as it means that Singapore has more and more talented athletes that we can all be proud of.
  6. This year also looks to be an exciting year for Singapore sport. For the first time, Singapore has qualified in Gymnastics and Canoeing at the Olympic Games. I look forward to cheering these teams and our other Singapore athletes at the Games in London later this year.
  7. Beyond the Olympic Games, Team Singapore needs our continued support as they head out for various competitions this year. Our encouragement will give them the additional moral support they need during crucial moments of the competition, and help them to do even better in their sporting exploits. Please join me in wishing our athletes all the best in their competitions – Team Singapore, remember, Your Glory is Singapore’s Pride. (DPM to lead in applause for athletes)
  8. I would also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge our generous partners and sponsors, family members, and media friends for your strong support over the years.
  9. Congratulations to the winners to be honoured tonight, as well as to all those who have been nominated. All of you have done yourselves and Singapore proud. I hope you will keep up the good work, on and off the sports field!

Thank you, and I wish everyone an enjoyable evening.

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