Team Singapore Gears Up For 24th SEA Games and 4th ASEAN Para Games
Team Singapore Gears Up For 24th SEA Games and 4th Para Games
Singapore, 16 November 2007 - Team Singapore is all set to make Singapore proud at the upcoming 24th SEA Games and 4th ASEAN Para Games, both to be held in Thailand and both fielding their largest-ever contingents of 424 and 62 athletes respectively.
Guest of Honour, Mr Teo Ser Luck, Parliamentary Secretary for Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports, presented the flags officially to the 24th SEA Games and 4th ASEAN Para Games contingents respectively in the 2nd joint flag presentation ceremony for both games held at Republic Polytechnic for Team Singapore.
Veteran sports figure Mr Low Teo Ping, Vice-President of the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) and concurrent President of the Singapore Sailing Federation and Singapore Rugby Union, will lead the 24th SEA Games contingent as Chef de Mission (CDM). He will be assisted by three Assistant Chefs-de-Mission (ACDMs) - Dr Bervyn Lee, Director of Youth Sports Division, Mr Abdul Rahman Hassan, Director of High Performance Management Division, and Mr Mahipal Singh, Assistant Director of Performance Planning, High Performance Group all from the Singapore Sports Council (SSC). The 24th SEA Games will be held in Thailand from 6 to 15 December 2007 with events taking place in Korat, Bangkok and Pattaya.
Similarly, ex-Athens 2004 Paralympic Games Chef de Mission Mr Henry Tan, Assistant Director of Co-Curricular Activities Sports in the Ministry of Education and Vice President of the Singapore Disability Sports Council (SDSC), will once again reprise his role this time as the CDM of the 4th ASEAN Para Games contingent. He will be supported by ACDM Ms Jeanine Heng from SSC. The 4th ASEAN Para Games will be held from 17-26 January 2008 in Korat.
This year’s SEA Games contingent has an exceptionally strong youth component as Singapore looks to the future. The contingent also reflects a larger number of athletes making their SEA Games debut. Commenting on this, Mr Low said, “The SEA Games provides an opportunity for our young, up and coming athletes to gain valuable competitive experience and earn their sporting stripes. It is an important first step for them in their development, and we hope they can build on this experience to move ahead and achieve greater success at the Asian and Olympic levels.”
Added Mr Low, “Our performance in this year’s Games is important as we gear ourselves to host the SEA Games in 2013, and possibly the Youth Olympics Games in 2010, and for the opening of the Sports Hub in 2011. Winning in sports is infectious, and we must keep the momentum going in our quest for sporting excellence. We are sending a relatively young contingent, both in terms of their age and competitive experience, and I am confident that they will deliver for Singapore and prepare themselves for the upcoming Youth Olympic Games.”
The flag bearer for the SEA Games is rising star, badminton player, Kendrick Lee. Beaming with excitement at the prospect of leading the Singapore contingent at the opening ceremony, he said, “It is indeed a great honour to be chosen to carry the Singapore flag. To me, it’s second only to being selected for the Games!”.
The youngest athlete is 12-year-old student Nur Izzati Bte Ismail who will represent Singapore in Petanque. Also making their Games debut are the women’s rugby team and Muay Thai, while squash returns after missing the last SEA Games. Polo also marks its return to the Games after a 24-year absence. With Singapore competing in 35 sports, three more than in 2005, another golden performance of 35-45 gold medals is within reach. Swimming is expected to lead Singapore’s charge for medals together with sailing, table tennis and badminton.
And for the first time, the SEA Games bound athletes will also bring their own national flags with them. They will also carry the host’s flags and Singapore’s flags as they march past during the opening ceremony. This is a token of respect for the host country, Thailand.
The Singapore contingent for the 4th ASEAN Para Games will be looking to better its 2005 performance, with a two-fold increase of 62 athletes competing in eight sports come January 2008 compared to 30 athletes represented in four sports back in 2005. Mr Henry Tan, Team Singapore’s CDM for the Para Games commented, “Like our counterparts at the SEA Games, the 4th ASEAN Para Games presents a great opportunity for our athletes to gain an important, competitive and enriching experience and bring glory to Singapore. Our athletes have been training very hard and look forward to giving their best at the coming games. We have included three new games, badminton, chess and table tennis and are hopeful that more sports will be made available to people with disability.”
The 4th ASEAN Para Games looks set to be a grand stage for 49 out of the 62 athletes making their Games debut. Youth participation and development is also encouraging, with more than one-third of the athletes ranging from age 13 to 18 years old. The team comprises elite athletes from all six disability groups - cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, physically disabled, visually impaired, hearing impaired and intellectual disability. In fact, this is the biggest team of athletes with intellectual disability that Singapore has ever sent to such a major competition - a total of 25 athletes. Mohd Syah Rezal, a budding field athlete, has been appointed among the group to lead as flag bearer for the ASEAN Para Games. A highly promising performance is thus anticipated from the strong Singapore contingent, as the team aims to surpass the 2005 medal tally of 14 gold medals, 10 silver medals and nine bronze medals.
Mr Chris Chan, Secretary-General of the SNOC is looking forward to another memorable SEA Games and ASEAN Para Games, in terms of Singapore stamping its mark as a regional sporting powerhouse. He added, “There is a good mix of youth and experience in both games. A lot of training and preparation have been put in to get the athletes ready for the Games so I have no doubt that they will rise to the occasion and deliver another stellar performance for Singapore.”
Supporting Singapore’s push for gold at the 24th SEA Games will be a team from the Singapore Sports Council’s Sports Medicine and Sports Science Division headed by Dr Teh Kong Chuan. The team includes three doctors, 12 physiotherapists, eight masseurs, three psychologists, one nutritionist and one nurse.
For the 4th ASEAN Para Games contingent, Dr Janet Fung will be leading the medical support, accompanied by three dedicated physiotherapists.
Singaporeans can get behind Team Singapore by sending their well-wishes and words of encouragement via sms to 77877. Lucky supporters also stand to win Team Singapore merchandise starting from 21 November - 16 December 2007. For more information on Team Singapore’s participation at the 24th SEA Games and 4th ASEAN Para Games, please visit www.teamsingapore.com.sg.
The official send-off for the Team Singapore contingent headed for the 24th SEA Games is at 8.30am on 3 December 2007 at Changi Airport Terminal 2 (in front of the Starbucks café).
Supporters are also invited to join in the official send-off for the Team Singapore contingent headed for the 4th ASEAN Para Games on 16 January 2008 at Changi Airport.
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About Singapore National Olympic Council
The Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) is the national nonprofit organization that coordinates the selection of Singaporean athletes for competition at the major games such as the Olympics, the Asian Games, the Commonwealth Games and the South East Asian Games. Singapore’s involvement in the Games is resolutely anchored in the Olympic ideals that were first espoused by Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic Games, in 1894. For more information, please visit www.snoc.org.sg.
About Singapore Sports Council
The Singapore Sports Council (SSC) is Singapore’s lead agency tasked with developing sports in Singapore. Our vision is to create a Sporting Singapore where Sports is a way of life. SSC aims to develop sports champions and create enjoyable sporting experiences for Singapore through the three strategic thrusts of cultivating a sporting culture, achieving sports excellence and creating a vibrant sports industry. Formed on 1 October 1973, SSC is a statutory board under the umbrella of the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports. Please visit the SSC website at www.ssc.gov.sg for more information.
About Singapore Disability Sports Council
SDSC is the national sports body for the disabled in Singapore. It is the only local organization that caters sports for persons across all kinds of disabilities. It aims to help the disabled lead full and independent lives through sports. Besides providing sporting opportunities for them to realize their potential, SDSC trains talents to represent Singapore and pursue excellence at regional and international competitions. For more information, please visit http://www.sdsc.org.sg.
About Team Singapore
On 20 April 2001, Team Singapore was launched by Deputy Prime Minister Dr Tony Tan. Team Singapore is the approach through which the Singapore sporting fraternity works together to realise our vision of a sporting Singapore. Team Singapore is about putting aside personal or organisational interests and working together as a team. It is about Singaporeans striving together for sporting excellence for the nation. At the heart of Team Singapore lies three core values - Fighting Spirit, National Pride and Teamwork - stressing the notion that by working together, the whole can be greater than the sum of its parts. Team Singapore is the means through which Singaporeans can foster closer relations when rallying support for our athletes when they compete for top sporting accolades. Through sports, Team Singapore helps to build a cohesive and resilient society. Visit www.teamsingapore.com.sg for more information.