Speech by Mr Tan Chuan-Jin at the 28th SEA Games Flag Presentation
SPEECH BY MR TAN CHUAN-JIN, MINISTER FOR SOCIAL AND FAMILY DEVELOPMENT AND PRESIDENT, SINGAPORE NATIONAL OLYMPIC COUNCIL AT THE TEAM SINGAPORE 28TH SEA GAMES FLAG PRESENTATION CEREMONY ON TUESDAY 12 MAY 2015 AT 7.15PM AT OCBC SQUARE, SINGAPORE SPORTS HUB
Mr Lawrence Wong, Minister for Culture, Community & Youth
Chefs-de-Mission Dr Tan Eng Liang and Mr Nicholas Fang
Athletes and officials
Colleagues and friends from the Singapore National Olympic Council, MCCY, Sport Singapore, and National Sports Associations
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen
The 28th SEA Games Singapore contingent is not only the biggest contingent to represent Singapore at any major Games, this is also the biggest crowd I have ever seen at a Team Singapore Flag Presentation Ceremony!
There are many milestones to celebrate today. We are here to commemorate the official start of Team Singapore’s SEA Games journey and we have just witnessed Tianwei, Yuegu and Pinxiu’s Hall of Fame induction. We have also heard from our athletes on how Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s legacy has benefitted every one of us here.
The wheels have been set in motion for Singapore to deliver the 28th SEA Games right after the 2013 edition concluded in Myanmar. Since we last hosted the Games in 1993, our athletes have been very eager to compete on home soil again. It was not an easy job for the SNOC Selection Committee to select 749 athletes out of the many nominations we received. We wanted more athletes to compete in front of the home crowd yet we also needed to maintain the standards of the contingent. In competition, it may not always go according to plan, but I am confident that regardless of the results, our athletes will do their very best.
Among the athletes and officials in this contingent, there is a very diverse mix and representation of Singaporeans – from our youngest athlete and sailor, Primary 6 student Muhammad Daniel Kei, to 50-year old teacher Vicki Heo who is not only competitive in the sport of Pétanque but also champions the sport to her students. There are also the privileged few who were part of the 1993 SEA Games contingent. 1993 sailing Gold Medallists Anthony Kiong and Colin Ng will be aiming for another shot at glory. Whether you are a debutant or veteran, I am sure you will have an extraordinary Games.
For the first time, we have appointed two Chefs de Mission for a major Games as we need to cover a contingent size of 749 athletes and 342 officials competing in 386 events in 36 sports. With Eng Liang’s vast experience in leading successful major Games outings and Nicholas’ enthusiasm, Team Singapore is in good hands.
Over the past 18 months, there are many people working behind the scenes helping our athletes and serving their needs to help them prepare for the Games. NSAs, SportSG, Singapore Sports Institute, coaches, sparring partners, employers, schools, families and friends, we know this Games is as important to you. Athletes, let’s give them a round of applause for their unwavering dedication and efforts.
Hosting the SEA Games in Singapore during its 50th anniversary celebrations is hugely significant. It’s been 22 years since we last hosted our regional friends and for our athletes to compete in front of our home crowd at the SEA Games. I know that our athletes and our citizens will be great ambassadors for Singapore. I believe we can all be inspired by the 28th SEA Games and to not only achieve greater heights in sports, but to be united as one nation and one people.
I wish all of you a wonderful Games. Thank you.