Welcome Address By Mrs Jessie Phua, Chairperson Of Singapore Sports Awards 2013 Organising Committee And Committee Member Of The Singapore National Olympic Council, At The Singapore Sports Awards 2013

11 Jun 2013

Mr Lawrence Wong, Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information

Mr Teo Chee Hean, Deputy Prime Minister, Co-ordinating Minister for National Security, Minister for Home Affairs and President, Singapore National Olympic Council

Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Acting Minister for Manpower and Senior Minister of State, Ministry of National Development

Officials and Athletes

Sponsors and Partners

Media Friends

Ladies and Gentlemen

A very good evening to all of you.

2. Many would remember me for my involvement in the Singapore Bowling Federation and perhaps, the recent London Olympics as Singapore's Chef de Mission. I am however a swimming mum first, and I happen to be one who has seen her children through the ups and downs of their swimming careers. Being an athlete is no easy task; it takes a great deal of focus, hard work and sacrifice. There are good days and bad days, and there are many a times you feel like giving up. As one of the greatest athletes in boxing history Muhammad Ali once said: "Champions are not made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them - a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have the skill, and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill." Tonight, we celebrate these champions.

3. We have in our midst today athletes who have made Singapore proud in the past year. National champions and record holders, SEA Games and Asian Games champions, and even some world champions! They are joined by their coaches; NSA officials; sponsors and partners; family and friends; friends from the media - all of whom have been instrumental to our athletes' success. Tonight is also about you.

4. 2012 was a banner year for Sporting Singapore. For the first time, we witnessed a Singaporean swimmer Joseph Schooling competing in the Olympics with an A-qualifying time, and he was joined by other trailblazers like gymnast Lim Heem Wei, canoeist Geraldine Lee and for weightlifting Helena Wong. Sports like gymnastics, canoeing and weightlifting do not loom large in our sporting radar. Heem Wei, Geraldine, and Helena did not have a village behind them, as they plodded on to pursue their dreams. Against all odds, they made an awesome leap. Ladies and gentlemen, can you please join me in saluting these heroines for their incredible spirit and feat.

5. Yes, 2012 was an awesome year indeed. We witnessed world champions being crowned. Our magnificent women table tennis team proved all pundits wrong and returned victoriously with two bronze medals from the London Olympics. On the home front, it was so wonderful to see football fever being revived and a host of other world-class sports events right at our doorsteps and the list goes on. To recognise your hard work and achievements, we have a total of 15 awards to be given out this evening.

6. Just like last year, we will also have an element of suspense in the awards ceremony. As you know, the Singapore Sports Awards Selection Committees have determined the finalists for the Main Awards. Members also took part in a secret ballot, where they voted for the most deserving winners. Auditing firm KPMG has since tallied the votes and the results will be unveiled as the night progresses.
Awards aside, the Organising Committee has also worked very hard in planning the entire event to a tee, so do stay tuned as we bring you some more surprises later this evening.

7. Before we proceed to the Awards presentation proper, please join me in thanking the key people who have been behind Sporting Singapore every step of the way:
  • Our dedicated Coaches, Sports Officials, Administrators and Volunteers;
  • Family members, friends and sport fans;
  • Our partners and sponsors of Sporting Singapore; and
  • A special mention to our dedicated sports media - let's continue to celebrate and inspire our local athletes!
8. On behalf of the Singapore Sports Awards 2013 Organising Committee, I would also like to thank our Guest-of-Honour, Mr Lawrence Wong, for so kindly gracing this special occasion.

9. Without further adieu, ladies and gentlemen, can you please join me to welcome our Guest-of-Honour, Mr Lawrence Wong.

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