Speech by Mr Tan Chuan-Jin at SSA’s Swim with Us Campaign Launch
The SEA Games Singapore Swimming Team Photo: Adrian Seetho
SPEECH BY MR TAN CHUAN-JIN, MINSTER FOR MANPOWER AND PRESIDENT OF SINGAPORE NATIONAL OLYMPIC COUNCIL AT THE SINGAPORE SWIMMING ASSOCIATION’S “SWIM WITH US” CAMPAIGN LAUNCH AND UNVEILING OF NATIONAL TEAM IDENTITY ON SATURDAY, 14 MARCH 2015 AT 12.30PM AT THE KALLANG WAVE MALL
Colleagues from Singapore Swimming Association
Athletes and officials
Ladies and gentlemen
First of all, please allow me to extend my heartiest congratulations to all the athletes and officials who have been selected to represent Singapore at the upcoming 2015 SEA Games.
As we all know we have less than three months to go, the Team Singapore athletes have been putting in a lot of effort. Certainly the sports administrators – MCCY, Sport Singapore, SNOC and the different sports associations – have been doing their utmost to set the conditions and to provide every support possible to help all of us prepare and get ready for these Games. And the Singapore Southeast Asian Games Organising Committee is putting in their best efforts to ensure the venues are in the best possible conditions so that we can deliver the best possible experience for both participants and fans. We have coming up, one of the most spectacular Games we have ever hosted and can look forward to.
It is important for all of us to realise that it is not just the efforts of all of our sportsmen out there. It is just not the efforts of the administrators, not just the efforts of the physios, trainers, doctors, coaches and family members, but all of us – Singaporeans. We are all part of this Team Singapore.
Today, we are here to launch a fantastic initiative by the Singapore Swimming Association. The ‘Swim with Us’ campaign really aims to encourage Singaporeans, whether you are a swimmer or not, whether you are a swimming enthusiast or not, to come forward to rally behind The Red Lions in all that they do because we are all part of the same team. And not just at the SEA Games, but also at the FINA World Junior Championships and FINA World Cup. I wish all of Singapore Swimming fraternity and our athletes all the best in their preparations.
It is only 82 days’ away where we will be embarking on the SEA Games. This will be the largest contingent ever to fly the Singapore flag high in the competition arena. All of you will be flying the flag for us. And all of us will be there to fly the flag as well. And it is especially significant because we are also celebrating our 50th anniversary as an independent nation. This Little Red Dot, which has been said often before, succeeded against all odds, and able to punch way above our weight, and achieving much not just in sports as a small nation but in many things. It is just not achievements but it is about what we provide for our people across the different fronts. But it has to be as a team. As it is, with our own survival and success as a nation, it will be the same with sports as well.
We know that all of you are training hard, you want to win, you want to do well, as in life and sports, nothing is ever guaranteed. We have seen many in tears because they were disappointed in not meeting not just our expectations but also their own expectations. Because it means something to wear this flag and to fly it. I have yet to meet any of our sportsmen who didn’t care about representing Singapore.
So let’s get out of your armchairs, from behind your computer screens and keyboards. It doesn’t take a lot of energy to type, but your words can mean a lot. Are we there to step forward to uplift our athletes, to stand alongside them as they fight for our country? That’s our role, for us to support them, whether in victory or in defeat, we have to be there for them, to rally them.
Our victory at the SEA Games will not be computed by the number of gold, silver or bronze medals or the records that we break. I believe that our victory will be defined by us as one nation coming forward, rallying together, fighting our level best, to have the best turnout possible at the arenas, in the stadiums and all the venues. Regardless of the outcome, the victory will be defined when we see ourselves as one nation coming together united as One Team Singapore.