Speech by Mr Tan Chuan-Jin at Sports School Awards Night
SPEECH BY GUEST OF HONOUR MR TAN CHUAN-JIN, MINISTER FOR SOCIAL AND FAMILY DEVELOPMENT AND PRESIDENT OF THE SINGAPORE NATIONAL OLYMPIC COUNCIL, AT THE SINGAPORE SPORTS SCHOOL AWARDS NIGHT ON THURSDAY, 28 JANUARY 2016 AT 7.00PM
Mdm Yeoh Chee Yan, Chairperson of the Singapore Sports School
Mr Tan Teck Hock, Principal of the Singapore Sports School
Colleagues from Singapore Sports School, Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, Ministry of Education, Sport Singapore and the National Sports Associations
Athletes and parents
Ladies and gentlemen
Good evening. I am very pleased to be here today at Singapore Sports School’s Awards Night.
I would like to extend my heartiest congratulations to all award recipients. Tonight’s awards recognise the achievements and hard work of the student-athletes and staff of the Sports School, I hope this recognition will encourage you to continue to invest your time and efforts to strive towards greater goals in sports.
The year 2015 was a significant year for Singapore. We celebrated our nation’s 50th anniversary and hosted successful editions of the SEA Games and the ASEAN Para Games. Team Singapore’s inspiring performances at these Games highlighted the sporting talents and achievements of our athletes, and rallied Singaporeans from all walks of life to celebrate together as a nation.
The Sports School played an important role in these sporting achievements. At the SEA Games, 96 athletes from the Sports School participated and contributed to nearly 40 per cent of the gold medals won by Team Singapore. Athletes such as Shanti Pereira, Loh Kean Yew and Kimberly Lim delivered rousing performances, which made the Games unforgettable to many.
The Sports School has proven over a very successful first decade that it is capable of producing stellar performances in sports. But it has shown equal competence in catering athlete-friendly academic pathways to its student-athletes. This is evident in a wide variety of options, such as a unique extended International Baccalaureate programme that allows student-athletes to tailor their academic demands to the needs of their sporting pursuits. There have also been more collaboration with the ITE, with even more academic options in the pipeline in the Polytechnics. The constant innovation in providing a holistic and balanced programme for student-athletes is relevant and important to prepare them for life after sports.
Today, we celebrate another important milestone in Singapore sport, and in particular, in the area of high performance youth development. The National Youth Sport Institute officially opens its doors to offer youth athletes in high performance from schools all over in Singapore to tap on the suite of sport science services and expertise that were previously exclusively provided to Sports School student-athletes. This extension of services aims to help more youth athletes hone and develop their sporting skills at an earlier stage in their careers, and groom more youth sporting talents and keener competition in Singapore. We hope this new national resource will encourage more youth athletes to take their sporting careers to greater heights.
The Rio 2016 Olympic Games is a mere six months from us. I congratulate the student-athletes who have earned their spot to represent Singapore, and wish all others who are heading to Olympic qualifiers all the best. I am confident that in the future, we will see more Sports School and National Youth Sport Institute athletes participating in the Olympic Games.
Congratulations once again and all the best for your upcoming endeavours.