Mr Chan Chun Sing, Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports;
Officials and Athletes;
Sponsors and Partners;
Ladies and Gentlemen;
A very good evening to you.
1 2011 was an exciting year for Sporting Singapore. We welcomed three world-class sporting events to our shores: the Mission Foods World Netball Championships in July, as well as the Canoe Marathon World Championships and the Volkswagen Women?s Table Tennis World Cup, both held in October. At the 26th SEA Games in Indonesia in November, our Team Singapore contingent performed well, giving us many moments to unite and celebrate as a nation. And ending the year on a high, the SEA Games Federation announced that Singapore will be the host for the 28th SEA Games in 2015.
2 I am sure 2012 will be no less exciting for Sporting Singapore. For the first time, everyone will be able to take part in sports competitions at a national level. To be held every two years, the Singapore National Games (SNG) is a new national multi-sports competition aimed at getting more people to participate in sport. The 2012 edition will pit community teams against one another in 10 sports. I hope all of you will form teams with your friends, neighbours and family members to take part in this exciting sports festival.
3 And of course, another exciting sporting event to look forward to, in just six months, is the London Olympic Games. At the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, Team Singapore returned with a silver medal, courtesy of our women?s table tennis team. I am confident that our Team Singapore athletes are training hard and the National Sports Associations are preparing well for the Games. Singaporeans are very excited and hopeful that you will continue to make us proud.
4 Tonight, we celebrate the athletes and officials of Team Singapore who have worked tirelessly to keep Singapore?s flag flying high at the 26th SEA Games in Indonesia last November. In total, Team Singapore won 42 gold medals, 45 silver medals and 73 bronze medals. You have shown us what it means to be a Team Singapore athlete, displaying true grit, perseverance and commitment to your sport and most importantly, the Singapore Spirit.
5 Thank you for giving your very best and for giving us so many reasons to cheer during the Games. Through your shining example, you continue to be a source of inspiration for others to embrace and excel in sport. For every one of you who went to the Games, there is a young Singaporean training hard, and aspiring to be the next Joseph Schooling, Sasha Christian or Fu Mingtian. We certainly hope to see many more winners emerge from among our young athletes in the years to come.
6 I would also like to take this opportunity to recognise the efforts of all officials, coaches, team managers, NSAs and the dedicated team from the SNOC and the SSC, including the medical and sports science staff. Your tireless work behind the scenes ensures that our athletes have the necessary environment and support to pursue their dreams. Thank you and keep up the good work.
7 A special mention must also go to the employers and schools of our athletes, as well as our sponsors and partners, who have continued to show their support for Team Singapore.
8 To the parents of our athletes, I am sure you are very proud of what your children have achieved. Our athletes would not have made it this far without the sacrifices that you have made and the support that you have provided.
Your commitment to your children?s sporting career is inspirational.
9 Finally, the SNOC Multi-Million Dollar Award Programme would not be possible without the generous sponsorship of the Tote Board and Singapore Pools, which have been our SNOC MAP sponsor since 1993. Thank you for your continued support to sporting excellence in Singapore.
10 I wish our athletes a prolific year as you continue your sporting exploits to bring more glory and joy to Singapore. Happy New Year to everyone!