Speech by Minister Tan Chuan-Jin at Sports Awards
SPEECH BY GUEST OF HONOUR MR TAN CHUAN-JIN, MINISTER FOR SOCIAL AND FAMILY DEVELOPMENT AND PRESIDENT, SINGAPORE NATIONAL OLYMPIC COUNCIL, AT THE SINGAPORE SPORTS AWARDS ON WEDNESDAY 5 AUGUST 2015, 7.10PM
Mr Lawrence Wong, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Second Minister for Communications and Information
Ms Annabel Pennefather, Organising Chairperson of the Singapore Sports Awards 2015 and Vice President of the Singapore National Olympic Council
Colleagues from MCCY, Singapore National Olympic Council and Sport Singapore
Officials and athletes
Sponsors and partners
Ladies and gentlemen
A very good evening to you.
Firstly, I would like to extend my heartiest congratulations to all finalists and recipients of this year’s Singapore Sports Awards.
The Singapore National Olympic Council has been celebrating and recognising the sporting endeavours of our athletes for over 40 years at the Singapore Sports Awards.
Tonight, we are here to pay tribute to the best sporting achievements in 11 categories. We will also be awarding 37 meritorious awards to individuals and teams who did well in 2014.
The year 2014 was a very memorable one for Singapore sports. Our athletes won medals at three major Games and at many other international competitions. Games records and National records were set at the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games. At the Youth Olympic Games, our young athletes made history winning the first gold medals for Singapore. More importantly, our athletes set out to challenge themselves and recorded new personal best performances. You have all made Singapore proud.
The likes of Joseph Schooling, Jazreel Tan, Jasmine Ser and Feng Tianwei have once again proven that they stand among the world’s best, delivering consistent results at major Games. There were athletes who recorded new breakthroughs for their sports – Lim Wei Wen delivered the first medal for fencing at the Asian Games and Aloysius Yapp’s junior world title marked the first for a Singaporean in pool.
Behind these records and performances is not just the work of our athletes; there is a team of unsung heroes regarded by athletes as more than just coaches, but also mentors and friends to athletes. Tonight, we also pay homage to the Coach of the Year.
The Best Sports Events and Most Inspiring Sports Story Award continue to encourage event organisers and journalists to create quality experiences and uncover stories galvanising the spirit of our athletes and sports.
In a year’s time, some of you will be marching together in one contingent at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Some athletes have already secured their coveted spots, some are preparing for their qualification competitions. To qualify for this event, the pinnacle of sports performance, is a milestone worth celebrating.
The recent SEA Games have created newfound enthusiasm and belief in our athletes. As one Team Singapore, you rallied a nation and brought immense pride to the country. Every single one of you played a part – the community, the corporate supporters, the Government, the individuals and many others more – you showed us that aspirations are possible realities, that when we set our minds to achieve a common goal, we can do more than merely dream.
Athletes, go ride on this new wave of energy and continue the momentum in pushing beyond your boundaries. Believe in yourself and go forth to achieve your dreams. Your achievements reflect the spirit of Team Singapore and the efforts put in by all stakeholders. Our unity will guide us to more success for Singapore in the future.
I would like to acknowledge the generosity of our partners and sponsors: the Tote Board family comprising Tote Board, Singapore Pools and Singapore Turf Club; and Singapore Airlines, for your support over the years. My appreciation goes out to all athletes, officials, coaches, family members, supporters and the media for your important contribution to Team Singapore. Thank you.
I wish you an enjoyable evening.