Major-General (NS) Chan Chun Sing, Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports,
Mr Ray Ferguson, Regional Chief Executive, Singapore and Southeast Asia, Standard Chartered Bank,
Friends of the media,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
A very good afternoon.
1 Let me begin by thanking all of you, for joining us as we launch this year's registration today for the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore (SCMS) 2011, the 'People?s Race'.
2 Today's turnout is an excellent indicator of the passion Singaporeans have for sport - and for this marathon, in particular. In a single year, the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore has become a signature event for our city. Not only did this multi-route marathon capture the hearts of Singaporeans who love to run, it continues to inspire many more to live more active lifestyles.
3 As chairman of this year's committee, I am thankful to have a strong SCMS team formed by the Singapore Sports Council and our partners at Standard Chartered Bank.
4 For the marathon organising committee at SSC, the race began much earlier this year. This dedicated team of people has already been working with fellow government agencies to ensure the best possible race experience for Singapore's legions of runners. The Land Transport Authority and Traffic Police, Singapore Tourism Board, NParks, and the URA, to name only a few.
5 Moreover, I am delighted to be working with Singapore Athletic Association this year. Not only are they assisting with the management of elite athletes, but also providing technical officials and working with us on anti-doping efforts and route management. I want in particular to thank Ong Yeok Phee, SAA General Manager and Frankie Lee, Chief of Marketing and Events for our close collaboration. As the national sports association for athletics, SAA shares our desire to see the SCMS become the pinnacle marathon in Asia.
6 We remain committed to running a race with opportunities for all, from newcomers trying their first race to our local, regional and international elite runners aiming to set new records. Our tropical climate makes the SCMS particularly challenging for people, even for the most established athletes. For them, a win in Singapore is no small achievement.
7 However Sporting Singapore has always been about providing a space for everyone who wants to be here. And the SCMS has always exemplified this spirit. You've already heard about the new 5km Fun Run for people looking to share in the whole experience with friends or family.
8 To help everyone prepare, we will be introducing a new application on our website that will allow runners to customise, monitor and analyse their training in preparation for SCMS 2011. As a runner, you will be able to type in your details and the web-based app will provide advice on your training and help monitor your progress. We aim to launch this app from early August, which will give you enough time to get ready. People can also look forward to a steady stream of articles and videos to enhance your preparations for the big race. Later in the year we also plan to hold friendly group running sessions in addition to our high performance clinic to build camaraderie leading up to race day.
9 For the people who ran last year's race, I want to let you know that we have gone through your feedback, and we are in the midst of working on the issues you raised. For example, as we plan this year's routes, we are scrutinising the merge points to reduce congestion during the final kilometres of the race. We are also looking at moving the bag collection points closer to the finish lines - again in response to your feedback.
10 Our duty of care to our runners will not change. Last year, we had across the three routes a total of 20 doctors, 110 nurses and 550 first aiders in addition to 31 ambulances on standby. Twenty-one medical staffers monitored the routes by bicycle, 16 by motorbike and 12 by car. Over the three routes, we had 26 drinks stations, three fruit stations, two GU energy gel stations and 64 marathon pacers to help runners achieve their goals for the race. We will keep up this standards of care.
11 Singapore has earned a sterling international reputation as sporting events host. From Formula 1 to the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games, we have been recognised as a host committed to service excellence. As proud as we are of these accolades, we work first and foremost to provide opportunities and access for you to be part of the Sporting Singapore family. We want to see you living fuller, happier lives through sport.
12 Even if you are not into running, you can still be part of SCMS 2011. We will need 7,000 volunteers to help us ensure the success of the Marathon. And of course, runners will appreciate it if more Singaporeans line up the race routes on race day to cheer and drum them on towards the finish line.
13 The spirit of Sporting Singapore is reignited every time we hold a high participation event. An event like the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore strengthens our sense of community with one another. We live in challenging times but sport can help unite us as teammates, competitors and, always, as passionate fans. In the end, sport helps make our Singapore, our home, a more enjoyable place to live, work and play.
14 Many different groups contribute to the success of the marathon. SSC, MCYS and SAA help provide the organisational platform. Standard Chartered Bank provides unwavering support of the opportunity: Its renewed financial support of S$9.75 million through 2013 guarantees that the best race is yet to be. And as you Run for a Reason, you provide us with 70,000 reasons to keep running the SCMS.
15 So once more, I thank you for so graciously helping us work towards fulfilling our ambition to run The People's Race.
16 Thank you.