Ladies and gentlemen
A very good afternoon
2 It gives me great pleasure to be with you here today. Let me begin by thanking all of you for making the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore 2011 a first-class running event.
3 Through the support of some 29 sponsors and partners, the SCMS continues to reach out to Singaporeans. In just two years, the SCMS has captured the hearts of Singaporeans from all walks of life.
4 As the race organiser, the Singapore Sports Council set out to achieve two goals: to create the People's Race - an event where everyone in Singapore could embrace a sporting lifestyle and strengthen their community bonds through sport. And along our journey, we wanted to build a compelling international asset for Sporting Singapore. Our aim was to establish the SCMS as one of Asia's premier races.
5 I am delighted to note that with your help, we have succeeded in our aspirations to accomplish both.
6 Not only did the SCMS 2011 attract a record 65,000 participants, we were also awarded the coveted Gold Label status by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). The Gold Label ranks the SCMS amongst the top 26 races in the world, alongside the likes of Boston, New York, Tokyo and London. More important, it positions your brand name with the world's best in marathon running.
7 The SCMS exemplifies how SSC and our partners in Corporate Singapore can work together can achieve common goals through sport. By linking their brands to SCMS, our sponsors and partners have connected to hundreds of thousands of people in Singapore. And with your support, you have helped enhance our sense of national pride and community bonds. You have helped built an international class marathon that Singaporeans can be proud of.
8 Every year, when we launch the SCMS registration, we receive tremendous support from our corporate teams - each eager and inspired to 'Run for a Reason'. I?m encouraged to see how quickly employees come together to form teams for sport. This year, a total of 127 teams competed in the Corporate and Non-Profit Organisation Distance Challenge. Covering the longest combined distance requires a sense of purpose, determination and resilience. I would like to congratulate all of you, including the top 10 teams in each category for displaying immense courage and team spirit.
9 For some, the exhilarating race day experience provides a rare opportunity for employees to forge closer bonds outside the workplace. Others run to raise funds for a charitable cause or to create a greater connection with their consumers. We each have our distinct motivations to run but the experience and values we obtain from the SCMS are universal.
10 Training for the SCMS months before the race can provide many employees with much-needed opportunities to bring work-life balance in their busy schedules. During the race, they build team spirit as they encourage each other to push new boundaries. And as they soak in the race day atmosphere in their tents across the Padang, they share a united sense of accomplishment - one that comes from finishing the nation's best race together.
11 At SSC, we hope to see this sense of shared achievement enjoyed across other sports as well. In our work on the Vision 2030 project, we are promoting the formation of Corporate Sports Leagues. Need a new twist to your employee incentive programmes? Create opportunities and time for your employees to play sport.
12 Recent studies, internationally and domestically, indicate low morale and loyalty within workforces around the world. As marathon sponsors and partners, you know that sport could help turn this situation around. Through a shared sporting journey, employees would develop greater commitment to their companies. They would learn to work together. And to win and live with integrity.
13 As we welcome diversity in our society, sport can help us unite as colleagues and teammates, regardless of race, language, creed, age or gender. Sport can build us a better home - a more united and vibrant Singapore. If you have ideas and feedback about how sport can be used to help the nation, I urge you to join the conversation through our website: www.vision2030.sg.
14 Before I close, I must commend our volunteers, the Singapore Athletic Association and fellow government agencies for your dedication and ensuring a world class race day experience for all.
15 I would also like to extend my gratitude to the SCMS 2011 Organising Committee. Through your hard work and dedication, you have placed Sporting Singapore on the world map once again.
16 Finally, to all our partners and sponsors, we look forward to your continued support, as we work towards another successful SCMS 2012 come this 2nd December. I wish you all a happy belated calendar New Year as well as an upcoming Happy Lunar New Year.