Message from Bob July 2016

It’s Every Day
The Singapore Sports Institute is the team around the national athletes and together with the NSA’s and the stakeholders of the sporting community of Singapore, we collectively stand on the threshold of the worlds premier sporting spectacles, the Olympic and the Paralympic Games (“Rio 2016”). Though these events are once every four years, the point I must stress is the effort and work that goes into preparing a pipeline of talent and creating an environment that promotes and fosters high performance breakthroughs is with the intent of a continued and sustained basis.

In this sense, Rio should not be considered a peak to which there is only the way down - rather it should be seen as a recurring grand milestone in a high performance cycle. In the Singapore context, Rio is a continuation of the great work of Team Singapore arising from the South East Asian Games 2015 and the Asean Para Games late last year and we hope to see the success going forward in the SEA Games in Malaysia 2017, the Asian and Commonwealth Games etc.  

Who is Team Singapore?
I must also clarify that “Team Singapore” not only means the national athletes who represent this nation. “Team Singapore” also refers to the parents, officials, coaches, support staff and importantly, YOU, the community, - everyone from heartland to corporate Singapore. This wide definition is important because Team Singapore can only go to the next level with everyones unwavering support. In my experience, it is very important to deepen the quality of any relationship and create a “virtuous cycle”. In this case, as the community supports the athletes, so then are the athletes spurred to greater heights, and in return, all are inspired by the national athletes to live better, through sports. 

Olympic Parents Engagement and Team Singapore

Team Singapore comprised of SSI staff, Ministers, CDM's and Parents of the National Athletes going to Rio

Moving Forward
It has been a fruitful and fulfilling few years at the Singapore Sport Institute, and I have had the pleasure to be part of many great moments and many challenges. In all regards, with a nod to tradition from the United States Military Academy at West Point, I have always tried to do the “harder right”. Some of the most memorable memories for me include having the privilege to gift Team Singapore paddler, Jason Chee his medal at the Asean Para Games, seeing Team Singapore at the SEA Games achieve in an outstanding manner in the medal count and seeing the Singapore Sports Institute “team around the team” grow and thrive and gain great relevance in the eyes of our stakeholders. I have always reiterated that the effort to keep our athletes at the top is a never-ending cycle and I see the effort and spark in the eyes of my colleagues as they tirelessly spend the time away from their own families to develop, sharpen and where needed, encourage the athletes. They are staff who show the passion for sports and perhaps are some of the biggest fans of the very people they service. 

My best wishes and support are with Chief Toh Boon Yi as I step aside  from my position at the Singapore Sports Institute. I have no doubt the SSI will thrive under his guidance and passion. I am proud to say that I feel I have left the SSI in a better state and I look forward to supporting Team Singapore from afar. 

Best wishes,

Bob Gambardella

Chief Bob

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