Major-General (NS) Chan Chun Sing, Acting Minister for Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports,
Richard Seow, Chairman Singapore Sports Council,
Ray Ferguson, Regional Chief Executive Officer, Singapore and Southeast Asia, Standard Chartered Bank,
Friends of the media,
Ladies and gentlemen,
A very good morning.
Just last week, at the Singapore Sports Awards, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean spoke about the power of sport to unite and ignite a nation. Sport can bring us all together, regardless of our differences in athletic ability, race or age.
2 I have seen this power in action as both a young athlete and a mature one. I have seen it on the faces of spectators in the grandstands and on the sidelines of a race. I have seen it in the combined efforts of SSC, our athletes, our fellow government agencies and our partners from the private sector to produce memorable and meaningful programming and events for Singaporeans.
3 And I am seeing it in action here today in the agreement with Standard Chartered Bank and its support for the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore. Standard Chartered Bank has been a long and valued friend to SSC and Sporting Singapore. Thus, it is my great pleasure to thank Mr Ray Ferguson, and Standard Chartered Bank for renewing their commitment to the people of Singapore by helping us create a truly great marathon experience in the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore 2011.
4 This is a race with something for everybody. You could be six or 60, you could walk, run or wheel across the finish line. It doesn't matter if you run 750m, 10km, 21km, or 42 km: when you cross the finish line, you're going to be feeling very very good about yourself.
5 Over the next three editions of the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore, more than 200,000 people will get the opportunity to experience that rush of satisfaction - thanks to the S$9.75 million that Standard Chartered Bank has very generously sponsored through 2013.
6 I am delighted to see more companies believing in the power of sport, and the positive impact it can make on the lives of Singaporeans. Increasingly, Corporate Singapore is literally banking on sports to raise awareness of their brands and build important market share. They know we are going to sit up and take notice.
7 Our passion for sports grows every year. We shout from the grandstands; we cheer from the comfort of our homes; and sometimes we throw up our hands in despair while watching from coffee shops and sports bars with our friends. But even if our team is losing, we are still winning. Singapore knows that a great game, a great match or a great race is always worth the price of admission.
8 Within the Singapore government, we also know that not only is sport a good strategy for business, sport is a good strategy for the nation. Sport produces dividends that will help sustain us culturally and economically in the years to come. Our fellow government agency, the Singapore Tote Board, for example, has been with us through the decades, because they believe what we believe: People can live healthier, happier, more spirited lives through sport.
9 Thank you, Standard Chartered Bank, for being there for the people of Singapore, and investing in the future of Sporting Singapore. The Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore *is* the people's race. I look forward to many more years of running this race together.
10 Thank you.