Long Term Athlete Development Plans Set To Produce More Sporting Heroes

23 Feb 2012

Singapore Sports Institute to Undertake Holistic National Athlete Development, Working Closely with Private Sector; Asia's First Sports Medicine Network is 1st Partnership to be Announced
Singapore, 23 February 2012 - As part of the 19 recommendations spelt out under Vision 2030 last week, the Singapore Sports Institute (SSI), under the Singapore Sports Council (SSC), has mapped out its first five-year plan that will provide seamless and holistic support for national athletes.

2. The SSI has identified three strategies. They are:
  • High performance sports framework
  • Building strong internal core capabilities and
  • Harnessing science & technology.
High Performance Sports Framework
3. The SSI will build a "team around a team" where it continues to develop its capability in all areas of high performance care and management of national athletes and coaches. The SSI has outlined eight key areas to ensure that athletes receive holistic Sports Science and Medicine support (SSM) and have a seamless pathway to evolve from amateur to elite athletes, and into retirement.

4. These areas are:
  • Developing long term training plans for athletes
  • Creating a seamless pathway for transition from youth to national athlete
  • Integrated delivery of SSM disciplines
  • Institutionalising a national sports medicine network (Singapore Sports Medicine Network)
  • Establishing comprehensive athlete life planning support
  • Inculcating sporting values and principles in athletes
  • Encouraging sports leadership development
  • Creating a master coach development system.

5. For a start, the SSI will collaborate with Changi General Hospital (CGH), Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH) and Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) to create the Singapore Sports Medicine Network (SSMN). Launched today, the SSMN - the first in Asia for such a network for national athletes - will create a decentralised system to provide sports medicine services for Team Singapore athletes beginning 23 February 2012.

6. Speaking at the launch of the SSMN this afternoon, Mr Lim Teck Yin, CEO of the SSC said, "The Singapore Sports Medicine Network is a crucial partnership that brings together all the sports medicine resources and the know-how to care for Team Singapore, and will further enhance the pace of development of sports medicine and extend our reach to a wider sporting community."

7. Currently, about 1,000 national athletes receive their medical clearance and consultations, and physiotherapy and rehabilitation treatments at the SSI that is located at the SSC's headquarters, with some athletes required to visit the SSI as many as five times a week. With the SSMN, Team Singapore athletes who are located far away from the SSI can choose to continue receiving their medical treatment after their first consultation at the SSI, at the nearest SSMN partner hospital - CGH (East), KTPH (North) and TTSH (Central).

8. This will allow the athletes to streamline their treatment, training and personal schedule to an optimum. Lim Sheng Yu, a full time basketball player with the Slingers who visits the SSI about three times a week welcomes the change. He said, "It takes me more than an hour to travel from my home in Woodlands to the SSI, and it is especially hard as our recovery sessions are usually early in the morning the day after a game. It would be great if I could go to KTPH for physiotherapy session as it will not just help me save more than 60% of travel time, but also give me more flexibility in managing my time."

9. To set in motion the leveling up of the sports medicine capabilities in public hospitals in the area of sports injury management for elite athletes, the SSI will put in place the standard of care and service that all partners have to abide by. This will ensure a uniform framework of operation across the network.
Building Strong Internal Core Capabilities
10. To support national athletes effectively, the SSI needs to have a ready pool of proficient SSM specialists in areas such as physiotherapy, nutrition, biomechanics, exercise physiology, sports psychology and nutrition among others. As the SSI seeks to build this pool of experts in the next 10 to 15 years, its immediate five-year plan is to leverage on external expertise and develop schemes to attract, develop and retain talent for the long term.

11. Some of the initiatives the SSI will be implementing include the setting up of several advisory boards and committees to guide the Institute's development, as well as the introduction of several scholarships, training awards, fellowships and exchange programmes to ensure that the Institute is staffed with the brightest SSM minds.
Harnessing Science and Technology
12.     With SSI's core capabilities and delivery system in place, the Institute?s winning edge for the athletes will be its ability to intelligently exploit and apply science and technology (S&T) to its systems and processes. Although the SSI currently has S&T initiatives in place, it could benefit from a dedicated programme that will seed and drive sports S&T initiatives.

13.        One of the strategies is to promote sports related research not only in SSI, but also in institutions of higher learning and research institutions in Singapore. This will be done through a dedicated research grant to promote SSM research to support our athletes and the local sports industry.

14. Overall, the SSI's efforts in the next five years will lay the foundation for the institute's long term development. It is during this critical period that the SSI will develop the fundamental frameworks and culture that will support the growth of not just SSM in Singapore, but also sporting excellence and Singapore's sports culture as a whole. The SSI aims to give every sports talent in Singapore a chance to realise their potential through its programmes.

Annex A - Fact Sheet on SSMN
The Singapore Sports Institute (SSI) has collaborated with three public hospitals, Changi General Hospital (CGH), Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH) and Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH), to establish Asia's first sports medicine network - the Singapore Sports Medicine Network (SSMN).

As members of the SSMN, these four medical institutions will start offering decentralised sports medicine services for Team Singapore athletes from 23 February 2012.

The primary objectives of the SMNN are to:
  • Optimise the sports medicine resources in the public hospitals to support national sports development.
  • Create a national framework across public hospitals in the area of sports injury management, and provide a structure of for quality assurance for sports medicine in Singapore.
  • Enhance sports medicine series to national athletes by increasing convenience and accessibility to sports medicine capabilities in public hospitals.

The benefits of the SMNN model include:
  • It increases patient base of SSI from 1,000 to 1,500.
  • It enhances sports medicine support for national athletes by bringing sports medicine services closer to them and increasing the resources to care for them.
  • It helps to level up and develop capabilities of public hospitals in the area of sports injury management.
  • It ensures uniform standard of care and quality assurance across public hospitals in the area of sports medicine.

Prior to the SSMN, the SSI uses a centralised model to cater to the sports medicine needs of about 1,000 national athletes. All athletes come to the SSI for services including medical clearance and consultation and physiotherapy and rehabilitation treatments. The SSI only refers athletes to hospitals for services that the SSI does not provide, such as surgery, MRI, X-Ray etc.

With the SSMN model, the SSI and the three hospitals will work together to provide a national resource to provide sports medicine services for national athletes. The model will be decentralised with CGH in the East, KTPH in the North and TTSH in Central. Athletes will receive their first consultation at SSI and will subsequently be able to receive treatment at any partner hospitals. Once the patient has finished treatment he will be referred back to the SSI to be discharged.

Fast Fact on SSI's Sports Medicine:
  • One sports medicine doctor
  • Eight physiotherapists
  • 2,800 medical consultations a year
  • 450 medical clearances a year
  • Provides approximately 5,800 physiotherapy sessions a year
  • Provides approximately 1,200 rehabilitation session a year
Fact Sheet of Changi General Hospital [53 Kb]

Fact Sheet of Tan Tock Seng Hospital [144 Kb]

Fact Sheet of Khoo Teck Puat Hospital [142 Kb]

For media enquiries, please contact:

Patricia Yee
Executive, Media Relations
Singapore Sports Council
Email: patricia_yee@ssc.gov.sg

Tanty Nazlianah
Senior Manager, Media Relations
Singapore Sports Council
Email: tanty_nazlianah@ssc.gov.sg

About the Singapore Sports Council
Formed in 1973, the Singapore Sports Council (SSC) is tasked with developing a holistic sports culture for the nation. The SSC creates opportunities for people to excel in sports; opportunities for people to be engaged in sports as, coaches, officials, volunteers or fans; and opportunities for people to do business in sports as sponsors and investors. The SSC has changed the way Singaporeans view and participate in sports. Through sports, we now have an enhanced national identity thanks to our sports participation programmes; greater national pride as a result of high performance results at international and regional games; and more diversified economic stability through our vibrant sports industry initiatives.

To find out more, visit our websites www.ssc.gov.sg and SingaporeSports.sg

Follow SSC on Twitter at: www.twitter.com/Lets_PlaySG and Facebook at: www.facebook.com/letsplaysg

For a range of photographs, visit www.flickr.com/photos/ssc-sportsphotography

Under a new initiative called Vision 2030, SSC and the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports are engaging people from all walks of life, the business community and the public sector to explore and develop proposals on how sport can best serve Singapore's future needs. Vision 2030 will look at how sport can be used as strategy to develop individuals, our communities, our economy and our nation. Members of the public who wish to share ideas, experience and information are invited to post on the official website www.Vision2030.sg.


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