Speech by SNOC President Mr Tan Chuan-Jin at the IOC Awards Presentation
SPEECH BY MR TAN CHUAN-JIN, GUEST OF HONOUR, MINISTER FOR SOCIAL AND FAMILY DEVELOPMENT AND PRESIDENT OF THE SINGAPORE NATIONAL OLYMPIC COUNCIL AT THE IOC AWARDS PRESENTATION ON TUESDAY 8 MARCH 2016 AT 7.20PM AT FABER PEAK SINGAPORE
Mr Ng Ser Miang, IOC Member
Mr Tan Howe Liang and our Olympians
Fellow SNOC and NSA colleagues
Ladies and gentlemen
Firstly, I would like to extend my gratitude to the IOC and Ser Miang for this special occasion. Thank you for holding our Singaporean sportsmen and administrators in such high regard. Tonight is certainly a celebratory milestone for all of us in the sport fraternity.
Many successful roles in sport require passion, dedication and largely, a spirit of volunteerism and willingness to do something good for the community. A culture of appreciation and recognition is important to express our gratitude to these unsung heroes and to acknowledge the value of such deeds. Deeds which go beyond the normal call of duty, deeds which include sacrifice and exemplary work and services, deeds which serve the community and were conducted without expectations of rewards. The lives of Mr Tan Howe Liang, Dr Tan Eng Liang and Mr Chris Chan espoused deeds which have served our community and created a meaningful impact to the Olympic movement.
In 1960, during the tumultuous times of Singapore’s pre-independence, Mr Tan Howe Liang boldly pursued an ambition of winning an Olympic medal – a feat never accomplished before by any Singaporean. His achievement was realised without the support of external help, it was purely out of interest and a desire to do well. He remains as one of the few athletes in Singapore who have won medals at the Olympic, Commonwealth, Asian and South-east Asian Games. He continued to coach and mentor younger athletes after his competitive days and spent later part of his years serving the then-Singapore Sports Council.
Many of you would be familiar with Dr Tan Eng Liang. Just last year at the 28th SEA Games, Eng Liang led Team Singapore to a record-breaking medal haul in his 12th outing as Chef de Mission. He also led Team Singapore to a silver medal at the 2008 Olympic Games. Besides the back-breaking work of a Chef de Mission, he chairs SNOC’s Special Training Assistance Committee, a committee that engages the National Sports Associations to ensure that training and preparation of major Games are on track. As Singapore Sports Council’s former chairman, he selflessly poured 16 years of his life strategising and implementing the blueprint for sports in Singapore. If I continue further with Eng Liang’s involvement in sports, we would be here all night. Eng Liang, to many of us, epitomises the values of a true sportsman and Olympian.
Secretary-General, Mr Chris Chan, has served the SNOC since 2002. Under his stewardship, the SNOC, with a small staff strength of five, scarce resources and support from partner agencies, has organised successful editions of the prestigious IOC session, Youth Olympic Games and the IOC Athletes’ Forum. He also played a major role in “Project 0812”, a national initiative to medal at the Olympic Games. Chris’ involvement in sport extends beyond Singapore. He represents us at the SEA Games Federation, Commonwealth Games Federation and Olympic Council of Asia and has ensured that our region’s interest at these forums are constantly protected and promoted positively.
Often, we seek inspiration from figures in sport from people whose hearts are in sport not for expedient reasons or for personal benefit, but for all the priceless values that sport upholds. Howe Liang, Eng Liang and Chris have demonstrated these values through their commitment to sports. My heartiest congratulations goes out to them for this special recognition from the IOC.
There are many others in Singapore who have given many years – even decades – of their lives to sport. ¬ Many of you here are serving sport in a voluntary capacity. I wish your work in sport continues to bring meaning to your lives and make a positive impact to our community and Singapore.
My final word of appreciation is reserved for the families of our sports personalities and volunteers, I thank and commend them for their patience and understanding in tolerating the time and effort we invest in sports – a common space we share and embrace in good times and bad.
Thank you and enjoy your evening.