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Speech by Guest of Honour Mr Teo Chee Hean, President, Singapore National Olympic Council, at The Singapore Sports Awards

SPEECH BY GUEST OF HONOUR MR TEO CHEE HEAN, PRESIDENT, SINGAPORE NATIONAL OLYMPIC COUNCIL, AT THE SINGAPORE SPORTS AWARDS ON 7 JUNE 2014, 7.00PM

Mr Milan Kwee, Organising Chairman and Executive Committee Member of the Singapore National Olympic Council

Officials and athletes
Sponsors and partners
Members of the media
Ladies and gentlemen

A very good evening to you.

I am very happy to join all of you here tonight for the Singapore Sports Awards.

The Singapore National Olympic Council has been celebrating the achievements of our athletes and their sporting endeavours for over 40 years, recognising their achievements and triumphs at the Singapore Sports Awards. Today, we are here to pay tribute to the finalists and winners of this year’s Awards, who have put in long hours of hard work to come this far in their sporting journeys.

The year 2013 saw many sporting triumphs that we celebrated together as a nation. The Singapore flag was raised high on the international stage of billiards, sailing and Wushu, where our athletes, Peter Gilchrist, Loh Jiayi, Bertha Han, the Optimist sailing team and Ho Lin Ying, emerged world champions. Bowler Shayna Ng, paddlers Feng Tianwei and Yu Mengyu, and sailors Kimberly Lim and Savannah Siew, continued their excellent forms to secure podium positions at their respective sports’ world competitions.

Personal and team records were set too. Swimmer Joseph Schooling’s personal bests at the World Championships hint of his potential. Shooter Martina Veloso at 14 years old was the only ASEAN marksman to shoot a perfect score of 400 last year. Our men’s water polo team continued their gold medal streak at the SEA Games, bringing home their 25th straight gold medal! Congratulations to all of you. You have all done Singapore proud.

More importantly, you have shown us the power of self-belief – by setting stretched goals, and working hard to achieve them. You have demonstrated tenacity and determination – by pushing yourself through pain, sweat and tears. You have shown us the value of strong teamwork – not just those of you who play team sports with your teammates, but also with your coaches, your supporters, etc. These are valuable traits not just for athletes, but also for all Singaporeans. Not just in sports, but also in every-day life.

The last time we hosted the SEA Games was in 1993. Next we have the honour of doing so. We have made much progress in sports in these two decades. Our athletes now do well, and win medals in a wider range of sports, not just at the SEA Games, but at Commonwealth, Asian and at the Olympic pinnacle.

I am confident that our athletes will give your best to do Singapore and Singaporeans proud at this year’s Commonwealth Games, Youth Olympic Games and Asian Games. When we host the 2015 SEA Games next year, I am sure our athletes will be even more motivated to do well, in order to honour our home crowd of Singaporeans. I also hope that Singaporeans will come forward to lend your strong support to our athletes at the SEA Games.

We are now at a very exciting stage of sports development in Singapore. In a week’s time, the Singapore Sports Hub will host a double bill of world rugby and regional aquatics action. The launch of ActiveSG has created a buzz of sporting enthusiasm on the ground, while the Singapore Sports Institute continues to extend comprehensive support to our athletes. As we continue on the Vision 2030 journey to live better through sports, I hope more Singaporeans will take up sports, and enjoy sports.

I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the generosity of our partners and sponsors, Tote Board, Singapore Pools and Singapore Airlines, for your support over the years. Athletes, please join me as we thank the officials, coaches, family members, educators and members of the media, for their unwavering support.

I wish everyone an enjoyable evening.

-ENDS-

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