Speech by Mr Edwin Tong, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth & Second Minister for Law at the Women’s Football Conference 2022
Mr Lim Kia Tong, President of the Football Association of Singapore
FAS Council members,
Ladies and gentlemen,
a. Our national women’s football team will compete in this year’s SEA Games for the first time since 2003. That is a huge achievement, so congratulations to the team. I am confident that this very well-deserved opportunity to take part in Southeast Asia’s premier competition will offer them the exposure, the experience, and turbocharge the progress that they can make in this field.
b. Some of our talented Lionesses are here with us today and I want to wish you all the very best for the campaign. I think it starts in slightly over two months and I am certain that we will all be there to support you.
c. Several members of our football sorority have also made their own mark both here and overseas as players, referees, coaches, and administrators. So, it’s no longer constrained to like what Viviene says, a half-time exhibition match. It is now a tournament of its own and women have made a career out of being administrators, referees, coaches and so on in the ecosystem around women’s football
i) Siti Rosnani Azman is the first Singapore woman to play professionally in Japan’s Women Empowerment League, which is the top and the first fully professional women’s football league in the country. I met Nani when I was in Japan where I bumped into her as I was travelling on my way to the Olympics and we stopped by a place to stretch our legs after a long ride. Suddenly, I heard this voice that sounded so distinctively Singaporean, turned around, and I saw Nani. I think Eric was with me and I was so fascinated to hear about her journey and how she just took off – at that time, she was going to Kobe. And to be quite single-minded about your dream and your ambition was so refreshing. And I think again, this is something that I hope will inspire all of you. Anybody who is thinking of a making that cut, making that journey, just look at what Nani has done.
ii) There’s also Angeline Chua, who gave a presentation on her work this morning, I think we saw her online. She is currently the Director of Women’s Football and Head Coach of the Women's Team at the Seychelles Football Federation. What she has said, what she has told us has given us a different perspective and given it a different meaning.
iii) Yeong Sheau Shyan, who will also be here today, is Head Coach of the Lion City Sailors FC Women’s Team. Sheau Shyan is perhaps the most qualified female coach in Singapore. She already holds an advance coaching licence from the Asian Football Confederation and is pursuing an even higher tier of coaching credentials.