Farewell to a beacon of Singapore sports
26 Jun 2018
It is with a heavy heart as we bade farewell to Dr B.K. Sen who passed away on 25 April 2018.
As the first Chairman of Singapore Sports Council (now known as Sport Singapore), Dr B.K. Sen’s belief that sport can help people live better lives was evident in his stewardship of the Council from 1973 to 1975.
When the founding Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew established SSC in October 1973, he did so after the announcement of a “Sports for All” policy at the opening of the National Stadium.
“The two years I spent in SSC were filled with plans to pursue this direction. The Council discussed how best to define and articulate sports policies and establish programmes that would enable all Singaporeans to exercise daily and make sports a way of life. We examined all the options and strategies to ensure the provision and maximum utilisation of all the facilities and resources available, including the sports clubs our country had inherited from the British forces,” shared Dr Sen.
“Our goal was to develop a robust and healthy people, with a strong and resilient character and confidence to face life’s challenges. This is what sport does. With regular participation in sport, Singapore would not only have stronger, fitter National Servicemen, but also a healthy labour force that automatically increases productivity.” - Dr B.K. Sen, 2013
The National Stadium Corporation was established in November 1971. It held the limited responsibility of planning and preparing the construction of our National Stadium, and Dr Sen was appointed its Chairman by the Prime Minister.
He oversaw the construction of our first National Stadium (from 1971 when he was Chairman of the National Stadium Corporation) with the vision that it would be a people-centred facility that would attract active participation by our citizens.
When it opened in 1973, the National Stadium not only became a treasured icon for Singaporeans, it also brought a new age and standard for sports and entertainment to our country.
Singapore’s first Prime Minister, the late Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, said at the official opening of the National Stadium: “Given leadership by the Chairman, Dr. B.K. Sen, people will be encouraged to watch, and then to personally take part in sporting activities. Healthy, wholesome exercise and recreation can make up for the passive entertainment which filled the lives of many people, the TV, cinemas, floorshows and exhibitions."
“SportSG still carries heavy responsibilities – to not only make Singapore a sporting nation, but to encourage the joy from participation and bonding of a community that occurs through team sport.” - Dr B.K. Sen, 2013
We are grateful for Dr Sen’s dedication and contributions to sports. Together, with our partners, Sport Singapore will continue to build a Sporting Singapore inspired by his belief and the foundation he created.
Team Sport Singapore