Bringing runners from around the world together virtually
Remarks by Mr Edwin Tong, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth & Second Minister for Law at the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2020 Virtual Club Launch via Facebook Live
24 August 2020
Mr Patrick Lee
Chief Executive Officer
Standard Chartered Bank
Mr Geoff Meyer
I enjoyed the speech, I can very much commisserate in some ways with you when you say that you used to do all these things and almost take for granted, and now we can’t get outdoors in the same way.
Colleagues from Sport Singapore and the Singapore Tourism Board
Friends from the media,
- Good afternoon to all of you.
- I am pleased to join everyone for the launch of the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon (SCSM) Virtual Club and Virtual Racing Series.
a. The SCSM has been a key highlight of Singapore’s sporting calendar for many years. And in fact, this year marks the 19th edition of the SCSM, which has developed a substantial following in Singapore and around the world since 2002.
b. I’m sure many of you would recall the first evening edition of the SCSM last year, where we saw more than 50,000 participants over the race weekend and tens of thousands of spectators cheering on the runners on a Saturday night.
SCSM Virtual Club as a refreshing and innovative concept
- Since then, of course, the world has changed very much as countries continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. This has marked a challenging time for the sports industry, in particular for mass participation sports.
- But I am inspired and very much cheered this afternoon to see how the SCSM is being re-imagined, almost from zero, this year amidst current conditions.
a. The organisers have introduced the concept of a virtual running club, which will help keep the running fraternity connected and engaged, whilst uniting participants with the purpose of preparing for their marathon race.
b. There is also a feature to connect with runners from around the world to participate from wherever they are, whenever they choose and at their own time, notwithstanding travel restrictions that has meant that we can’t come together.
c. Through the Virtual Racing series, users will be able to explore and discover different parts of Singapore, including our treasured landmarks like City Hall, Gardens by the Bay and the Merlion.
- At this juncture, I would like to congratulate, thank and commend IRONMAN Asia for their innovation and their efforts, which clearly demonstrates their passion for sport.
a. The organisers have not only adapted the format of a traditional race to navigate current constraints, but developed an interesting concept to bring people together, despite the challenges that we have today. There is potential for these innovations to feature in future editions even after this pandemic ends.
Singapore’s ambition to make SCSM one of the World Marathon Majors
- When Singapore transitioned the SCSM to an evening window last year, we signalled that we were serious about levelling up the event to be considered as a candidate for the Abbott World Marathon Majors.
a. Today, we remain committed to the aim of putting Singapore on the world running map – a city-state with a strong running culture of people who are passionate about and enjoy running thoroughly.
b. With the virtual formats offering more flexibility to train and participate, we hope this will encourage more Singaporeans to become part of the SCSM this year – be it to run the full marathon or perhaps just dip your toe in it, to start with one of the shorter distance formats.
- In Singapore, we’ve always believed and will continue to believe in fostering a strong sporting culture.
a. We encourage Singaporeans to participate in sport, not only for health outcomes, but because it brings people from all walks of life together. When we come together to get active – be it to run, play football, or just to be on the sidelines to cheer our friends – we bond as a community, share that sense of identity, and develop a sense of unity.
b. MCCY and SportSG alone, however, cannot build and sustain a strong sporting culture, and we are very much appreciative of the efforts of the many stakeholders that work with us and share their ideas with us to build a strong sporting Singapore.
c. In this regard, I would like to recognise the Standard Chartered Bank as a long-time partner of the SCSM over the years.
- Lastly, let me wish the organisers all the very best as they move into the next phase of preparations after this afternoon’s launch. I think I speak on behalf of many in the running community, when I say that we are really looking forward eagerly to the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2020!
- Thank you very much.
Last updated on 24 August 2020