Speech by SNOC President Mr Tan Chuan-Jin at the 2018 Singapore Sports Awards
SPEECH BY GUEST OF HONOUR MR TAN CHUAN-JIN, SPEAKER OF PARLIAMENT AND PRESIDENT OF THE SINGAPORE NATIONAL OLYMPIC COUNCIL AT THE SINGAPORE SPORTS AWARDS 2018 ON WEDNESDAY, 18 JULY 2018 AT 7.00PM AT MARINA BAY SANDS SINGAPORE
Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth
Ms Juliana Seow, Organising Chairperson of the 2018 Singapore Sports Awards
Colleagues, officials and athletes
Sponsors and partners
Ladies and gentlemen
A very good evening to you.
Let me first extend my congratulations to all finalists and recipients of this year’s Singapore Sports Awards.
Fifty years ago, we presented the Singapore Sports Awards to the very first recipients. Swimmers Tan Thuan Heng and Patricia Chan went home with the honours of being named Singapore’s first Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year. Pat Chan went on to win another four times, a feat no Sportsman has achieved, and one which Joseph Schooling is attempting to equal tonight.
Since the 1960s, we have been celebrating the successes of our athletes at the Singapore Sports Awards. Over the years, as our sports ecosystem thrived and developed, we have included more categories to recognise outstanding young athletes, teams, coaches, events, journalism and photography.
One hundred and eighteen athletes will also be recognised in the Meritorious categories this year. Among the 22 sports and disciplines, Cricket is joining the ranks for the first time for their exceptional performance at the SEA Games last year.
Also in Kuala Lumpur last year, Team Singapore recorded a best away Games and the second-best ever performance at the SEA Games. Gold medallist Calvin Sim won Singapore’s first men’s cycling title since 1997. The Squash men’s team brought home the title after a 22-year wait. Diving pair Ashlee Tan and Fong Kay Yian ended Singapore’s 44-year gold medal drought. Our synchronised swimmers strutted their stuff and took home seven medals. All of them have eyes on a bigger prize next month – to do well at the upcoming Asian Games.
Meanwhile, on the international front – our bowlers, paddlers and shooters, swimmers continue to keep pace with the world’s best. Athletes in fencing and wushu are now consistently posting top showings at their respective world championships.
In a month’s time, our eyes will be glued on Team Singapore as they compete at the Asian Games in Indonesia. Then in October, we will be cheering our young athletes on at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires. Later this month, our Olympic aspirants will start their qualification journey towards the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. I wish Team Singapore all the best in their endeavours.
From two main awards 50 years ago, to 12 awards in 2018, the essence of the awards remains the same all these years – to pay tribute to those who have excelled in the field of sport. I hope the awards will continue its longevity, and keep inspiring our sporting community to strive to be worldbeaters.
The Singapore Sports Awards is made possible because of our partners and sponsors’ generosity. Many thanks to the Tote Board Group comprising Tote Board, Singapore Pools and the Singapore Turf Club; and Singapore Airlines, for your support over the years. We hope you will continue to walk this journey with us in the next 50 years and more.
Thank you to all of you here today – athletes, officials, coaches, family members, supporters and the media for contributing to building a stronger sporting Singapore.