Ms Hany Soh: To ask the Minister for Culture, Community and Youth how can the Ministry encourage Singaporeans to both celebrate our athletes’ victories and honour their efforts in their setbacks.
Mr Edwin Tong, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth & Second Minister for Law:
- Many Singaporeans followed and supported our athletes taking part in the recent Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Amidst COVID-19 restrictions, the use of social media tools was effective in sharing with Singaporeans the journey of our Team Singapore athletes at the games. For instance, MCCY and Sport Singapore social media platforms helped to keep Singaporeans updated on the progress of our athletes and captured some of the courtside action, alongside Mediacorp’s broadcast of the Games action on Channel 5 and meWATCH channels. Over 1,200 Team Nila volunteers rallied to watch the games live, organised Facebook Live shows to chat about our athletes, created videos to cheer them on, and posted messages of support.
- There were also organic ground-up efforts, like the Singapore Badminton and Singapore Water Polo FB Groups with a combined following of more than 6,000 members, who supported our athletes by sharing their progress on social media.
- Singaporeans gathered to catch our athletes ‘live’ in action at many ActiveSG centres and community centres. Some schools, such as Nanyang Primary School, screened the Games action during recess, to allow students to follow the competitions and cheer on our athletes. Our overseas fans also rallied alongside us to show support for our athletes, an example being the virtual cheering session organised by friends from Mihama Town in Aichi Prefecture for Pin Xiu’s 50m Backstroke-S2 event. This was attended by Pin Xiu’s family, the Mayor of Mihama Town Mr Saito Koichi, Parliamentary Secretary (Culture, Community & Youth) Mr Eric Chua, MFA mission officials, as well as TeamNila volunteers.
- In the lead-up to the Games, Sport Singapore launched the “One Day” campaign, celebrating our athletes’ sporting journeys and paying tribute to their resilience and sacrifice in the pursuit of sporting excellence. The National Youth Sports Institute (NYSI) has also been featuring the sporting journeys of our youth athletes through video interviews and stories, showing how far these athletes have come.
- It is important that we provide Singaporeans with opportunities to: (a) identify and connect with our athletes; (b) follow the action; and (c) lend encouragement to the athletes in their journeys, amidst their victories and disappointments. Our encouragement and support for our athletes counts the most when the journey gets challenging.
- Our contingents have since returned home from the Olympics and Paralympics Games, having flown the Singapore flag high competing with the world’s best athletes. Our athletes inspire us to chase our dreams, and their journeys exemplify grit, perseverance, resilience and never giving up.
- We look forward to seeing more of our athletes in action at the upcoming Hanoi Southeast Asian Games and ASEAN Para Games, the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, as well as Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games and Asian Para Games. Let’s all continue to rally together as One Team Singapore to support our athletes in their sporting journeys.