Speech by Minister Tan Chuan-Jin at the MAP Awards
SPEECH BY MR TAN CHUAN-JIN, MINSTER FOR SOCIAL AND FAMILY DEVELOPMENT AND PRESIDENT OF THE SINGAPORE NATIONAL OLYMPIC COUNCIL AT THE SNOC MAP AWARDS PRESENTATION AND TEAM SINGAPORE APPRECIATION DINNER FOR THE 28TH SEA GAMES ON 26 AUGUST 2015, 7.00PM, ORCHARD HOTEL
Mr Lawrence Wong, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Second Minister for Communications and Information
Mr Fong Yong Kian, Chief Executive of Tote Board
Athletes and officials
Sponsors and partners
Colleagues from the Singapore National Olympic Council and Sport Singapore
Ladies and gentlemen
Ten weeks ago, we concluded a successful 28th SEA Games held in Singapore and also celebrated a performance at the Games like we have never seen before. Team Singapore delivered an all-time record medal haul of 84 gold, 73 silver and 102 bronze medals, and set 25 Games records, 29 National records and 74 personal best performances. Congratulations to all in Team Singapore for setting new benchmarks and for inspiring us with your strive to go faster, higher and stronger.
There were many memorable moments we witnessed in victorious and breakthrough performances. Many of you would remember being on your toes as our netballers played against defending champions Malaysia in the finals. I still get the goose bumps when I think about that rainy morning when marathoner Soh Rui Yong crossed the finish line first. And I will always remember the thunderous atmosphere at the National Stadium when Shanti Pereira sprinted to gold in the 200m final.
These are some moments that define the current state of play in Singapore sports. Our athletes are pushing past traditional boundaries of benchmarks, gaining ground and making marked improvements in speed, strength and performance.
There were many sports and athletes who did well, and have continued to do well after the SEA Games. Many of you made sacrifices to train, some put a hold on your professional careers and some took time off school to train full-time. Thank you. I hope your journey was worthwhile and rewarding, and that you will continue to do your families and friends proud on the sporting stage or in other endeavours you choose to pursue.
There were also other special moments which we will remember for a long time. From the outpour of condolences for the Sabah earthquake victims, singing the national anthem in unison when the recording malfunctioned, Ashley Liew’s fine display of sportsmanship to Singaporeans’ fervent support for both our athletes and those from other countries.
During the Games, Singaporeans wore their hearts on their sleeves and played host with kindness to our friends from Southeast Asia. This spirit encapsulates who we are as Singaporeans and shows how sports can form a bridge between our nation and others.
The success of the SEA Games would not have been possible without the contribution of our athletes. Behind the scenes, there were scores of coaches, training partners, family members, friends, employers, sponsors, teachers, school mates, fans and media – who also made a difference. To all the staff working at the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, Sport Singapore, the Singapore National Olympic Council and all the National Sports Associations, thank you for your unwavering dedication and contribution.
I would also like to highlight the hard work of the Chefs de Mission, Dr Tan Eng Liang and Nicholas Fang, who were there to look after the well-being of the contingent and to ensure the best possible competition environment for our athletes. My special thanks goes out to Mr Lawrence Wong and Mr Lim Teck Yin for leading the SINGSOC team in delivering an unforgettable Games.
Finally, I would like to extend my gratitude to the Tote Board family comprising Tote Board, Singapore Pools and the Singapore Turf Club for their generosity in rewarding and supporting our athletes.
The 28th SEA Games was indeed extraordinary for Singapore. The 29th edition is not too far away on the horizon, and I wish athletes who aspire to compete all the best in their preparations. We have seen new milestones set by our athletes such as Joseph Schooling and Quah Zheng Wen since the SEA Games. Well done, and I hope it inspires more athletes to aspire to greater things.
The ASEAN Para Games will take place in December. Do come out and support our athletes and continue to play a part in building a stronger Team Singapore for us all. Thank you.