Speech by Mr Teo Chee Hean, Deputy Prime Minister, Coordinating Minister for National Security, Minister for Home Affairs And President of The Singapore National Olympic Council
EVENT: MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR AWARD PROGRAMME (MAP) PRESENTATION CEREMONY
VENUE: SWISSOTEL MERCHANT COURT HOTEL BALLROOM
DATE: 7 FEBRUARY 2014
Athletes, Parents and Officials;
Sponsors and Partners;
Colleagues from SNOC and SSC;
Ladies and Gentlemen;
Good afternoon and a Happy New Year.
- Let me first wish every one good health, long life, happiness and success in this Year of the Horse.
- Today, we are here to celebrate the achievements of Team Singapore athletes at the 27th SEA Games in Myanmar. Team Singapore brought home 34 Gold, 29 Silver and 45 Bronze medals from the Games. Medals always unite people – when our flag is raised and when we sing Majulah Singapura – it is yet another moment for all of us to rejoice as one nation.
- However, the 27th SEA Games was not just about medals. It unearthed many untold stories about our athletes – of your grit, resilience and determination to represent Singapore.
- You not only gave us many moments to cheer and celebrate during the Games, but also made us cherish the journey you took to make our nation proud.
The exploits of equestrian show jumper Janine Khoo, cyclist Dinah Chan and rower Saiyidah Aisyah who overcame adversity to strike Gold struck a chord with Singaporeans back home.
You are an inspiration to our aspiring athletes, and to all Singaporeans.
- Team Singapore’s performance at the Myanmar SEA Games will also be remembered for many milestones. There were some pleasant surprise medals, several firsts in decades, as well as records being set.
- More than half of our contingent were young debutants and they contributed to almost half of our total medal haul. This is a good sign that we have a strong pipeline of sportsmen and women. We look forward to their continued progress and success in the years to come.
- We are coming to an exciting time for sport in Singapore. Next Saturday, we will officially launch the 28th SEA Games and the 8th ASEAN Para Games at the Gardens by the Bay. The SEA Games countdown event in June this year will be at our brand new Sports Hub.
- The Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and Youth Olympic Games are also on the horizon later this year. Standards at these events are higher, and those of you who will be competing in them, will be up against world-class athletes.
- My message to you as you head to these Games is: challenge yourself. Train hard, both physically and mentally, and do Singapore proud.
- If you have the ability and the determination, we will support you all the way. Last year, we introduced the Sports Excellence Scholarship to enhance the level of support for our top athletes who have demonstrated potential to win at various levels. I hope this support will motivate all of you to strive even harder, to achieve excellence in your respective sports.
- Let me also take this opportunity to acknowledge the efforts of all Team Singapore officials, from the coaches and team managers to the officials from SNOC, SSC and the SSI who took care of all the needs of the athletes so that you could concentrate on giving your best in the competition arena.
- I would also like to thank the employers and schools of our athletes for being great partners and supporters of Team Singapore. A special mention has to go to the parents of our athletes, for the commitment and sacrifices that you have put in for your children’s sporting careers.
- Finally, please join me in thanking all our sponsors and partners who contributed, each one in your own important ways, to Team Singapore’s success in Myanmar; and in particular to Tote Board for its generous sponsorship of this SNOC Multi-Million Dollar Award Programme. Your continued support of MAP since 1993 is much appreciated.
- Every sporting success we celebrate is the result of the collective efforts of all of you who make up Team Singapore. Together, We Are Stronger.