Sports success in S’pore is also about opportunities for a better you July 6, 2023 When Yip Pin Xiu and Quah Ting Wen were feted at the winners’ podium at the recent SEA Games and ASEAN Para Games this summer, it was proof positive of their long-term training and discipline paying off. In fact, there are equally long-term efforts to nurture national athletes and a supportive ecosystem for them — as well as for any other Singaporean who enjoys sports. Not just for now, but in the past and for the future as well. In this spirit, our PAP MPs — including Poh Li San (Sembawang GRC), Wan Rizal (Jalan Besar GRC) and Darryl David (Ang Mo Kio GRC) — spent Parliament today (Jul 6) talking about sports and the opportunities they present. Particularly, MP David’s Amendments improved the Motion which the Workers’ Party put forth for furthering sports success in Singapore. Sporting success for Singaporeans must, after all, mean more than medals. Poh Li San: Sports develop the individual holistically Regarding the sporting ecosystem, MP Poh Li San (Sembawang GRC), who is the President of the Singapore Table Tennis Association (STTA) and one of Singapore’s biggest advocates for sports, spoke on how we develop our athletes. “To support the development of national athletes and national sports associations, the government has already invested about $70 million annually in the High Performance Sports system,” she mentioned. Source: Poh Li San / Facebook She added that STTA works closely with SportSG to map out multi-year sports plan and targets for international tournaments and major Games — there are MOUs with table tennis academies in Europe and Asia so that players from both sides can train together and learn from each other and acclimatise before international Games. She also mentioned that the Singapore Sports School (SSS) schedules its academic approach around a student-athlete’s training and competition schedule. This helps them cope with challenges: 10 out of 12 national paddlers are SSS’s successfully-graduated alumni. “Medals and academic degrees are important but in my view, the most valuable lesson from this rigorous youth development pathway will be the lessons on independence, resilience, discipline and teamwork,” said MP Poh. Wan Rizal: Medals are not the only measure of sporting success MP Wan Rizal (Jalan Besar GRC) similarly spoke on sporting success beyond medals. “I’ve seen the transformational power of sports firsthand. It’s in the joyful shouts of children playing on the school field and sports halls, the tense moments before a university track and field race, and the community spirit at a local football match,” he said. Source: Wan Rizal / Facebook “To me, sporting success extends beyond the medals we secure on international platforms; it’s deeply rooted in the strength and vibrancy of our community sports culture. It’s about nurturing unity, fostering resilience, and creating a platform for everyone to maximise their potential.” Our MP, who has a PhD in Physical Education and specialises in dynamical systems theory, also offered his take on how to make sense of what might happen in Singapore’s ever-complex, ever-changing sports ecosystem. “Our journey to sporting success is not confined to a single path,” he noted. “We are indeed on the right path, but we must make a conscious effort to ensure that our journey is both encompassing and enriching — cherishing every aspect of our sporting ecosystem from grassroots participation to international acclaim.” Darryl David: Amendments which recognise the full potential of sports In this vein of all-round character-building and community unity, MP Darryl David (Ang Mo Kio GRC), proposed amendments to the WP Motion. He deemed it unfairly limited to our athletes’ performances at major Games, focused only on medal-winning and not considering the need to continually review and set goals for our sporting excellence. He also wants his amendments to remind us about the overall importance and benefits of sports. Source: Darryl David / Facebook “As I tell my daughter, it’s not about winning the medals,” MP David added of his advice to his sportsgirl daughter. “It’s about improving your personal best every time you go to the pool. And all of us, in that regard, have that personal best; amateur sportsmen, professional sportsmen. And I believe that we should, therefore, proceed along these lines.” Parliament passed the Motion with these Amendments. A focus on the broader objectives of sports is coming soon for Singaporeans then, as well as the opportunities which result from them. These are many: Athletes reaching their maximum potential, more ways for Singaporeans to participate in sports, and communities as well as the nation rallying together cohesively. “Or even just about being the best version of yourself that you can be,” said MP David.