Speech by Mr Teo Chee Hean at the SNOC AGM

DPM Teo Chee Hean and Mrs Teo at the 2008 Singapore Sports Awards with the athletes.

30 Jun 2014

It has been my honour and privilege to serve as the President of the Singapore National Olympic Council since 1998.

In the past 16 years, I have very much enjoyed being with the athletes through the many Games: to encourage them and help them develop and grow, to share their joys and successes, to stand with them through their pain and disappointments.

I am happy to see that we are now doing well in a wider range of sports. This is due to the good work of our National Sports Associations and officials working together for the athletes to take their sports upward.

There are several sports which are good examples – you know who they are. They are well organised, have dedicated officials, coaches and staff who serve selflessly. They have good youth programmes and athlete support programmes. They take their responsibilities seriously, take their athletes seriously, and in return, the athletes take the sport seriously, are motivated and supported. And the athletes and the sport enjoys progress and success.

I hope that more NSAs can follow these good practices and do well too.

I am also fortunate to have worked with many good people. I would like to acknowledge the current and past Vice Presidents whom I have worked with – our current VPs: Mr Ng Ser Miang, Dr Tan Eng Liang, Ms Annabel Pennefather, and Mr Low Teo Ping. As well as previous Vice Presidents Mr Ch’ng Jit Koon, Mr Goh Yong Hong and Mr Niam Chiang Meng.

And also our Secretaries-General: Mr S S Dhillon, the late Dr Lau Teng Chuan, and our current Secretary-General Mr Chris Chan. I especially appreciate the late Lau Teng Chuan, who was a great inspiration as a sportsman, sports administrator, and a gentleman.

I would also like to thank Mr Kua Hong Pak who was elected as SNOC Honorary Treasurer in June 1991, and has served SNOC since then. He has informed me that he intends not to seek re-election at this AGM.

One of the things I am happiest about has been introducing NSA reps into the ExCo. In 1999 we started by co-opting Ms Annabel Pennefather as NSA rep in the ExCo. Subsequently, we moved towards the election of NSA reps in 2002, starting with the election of 2 reps for a one-year term, then increasing the number to 3 since 2006. This has allowed the SNOC ExCo to tap on the abilities and experience of more sports officials. It also brings the SNOC and our NSAs closer together. We are better able to align our goals. The concerns and needs of our NSAs are brought directly into our ExCo discussions and decisions.

Since the start of the scheme in 2002, nine NSA reps (Robert Tan, Low Teo Ping, Jessie Phua, Choo Wee Khiang, Oon Jin Gee, Dr Teo-Koh Sock Miang, Chng Seng Mok, Milan Kwee, Nicholas Fang) have served in the Exco, making the SNOC more responsive to the needs of our NSAs. This has allowed several of our NSA reps to eventually take on more responsibilities in the SNOC after they have demonstrated their ability and commitment to the sporting fraternity.

I would also like to thank the Chairmen and CEOs of the Singapore Sports Council, which has recently been renamed Sport Singapore. Chairmen: Ng Ser Miang, Alex Chan and Richard Seow; and CEOs: Kwan Yue Yeong, Oon Jin Teik, and Lim Teck Yin.

And the ministers responsible for sports – Minister Abdullah Tarmugi, Minister Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister Chan Chun Sing, and Minister Lawrence Wong.

Most of all, I wanted to thank all of you, for your trust and support, and for your dedication to sport in Singapore.

In April 2013, I consulted the ExCo and we decided to co-opt Mr Tan Chuan-Jin into the ExCo. Since then, he has spent much time getting to know you and our athletes, having joined you at a number of Games. He has also become familiar with the work of the SNOC, having taken a major role in the selection of athletes for major Games, and for Sports Awards. I am glad that we have the services and leadership of Chuan-Jin. Many of you have got to know him and know what he can do for sports in Singapore. I hope that he will continue to serve with the SNOC and to work with you in the coming years.

I have decided not to seek re-election at this AGM. It is time that we have new leadership to take SNOC and sport in Singapore to new heights. The fact that we are hosting the SEA Games next year, provides a platform and opportunity for the new leadership in SNOC to work with you to realise our vision and dreams.

I have very much enjoyed working with all of you, our sports officials, coaches and athletes for the past 16 years. Even though I am stepping down as SNOC President at this AGM, I will continue to take an active interest in sports, and in our athletes, and to support you in any way I can. And I will look to all of you to help raise sports to even greater heights in Singapore.

I thank every one of you very much for your support, for the privilege of knowing you and working with you to take sports to a higher level for Singapore.