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Celebrating the achievements of student-athletes at the Singapore Sports School

Speech by Mr Baey Yam Keng, Parliamentary Secretary for Culture, Community and Youth, at the Singapore Sports School Awards Night 2017

19 January 2017

Ms Yeoh Chee Yan

Chairperson of the Singapore Sports School and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Culture Community and Youth

Mr Tan Teck Hock

Principal of the Singapore Sports School

Colleagues from Singapore Sports School, Ministry of Education, Sport Singapore and the National Sports Associations

Athletes and parents

Ladies and gentlemen

1. Good evening. I am delighted to join you this evening at the Singapore Sports School Awards Night 2017. 

Congratulate Sports School for its Achievements in Sports and Academics

2. Let me begin by extending my heartiest congratulations to all award recipients. The awards recognise your hard work and outstanding achievements, and I hope that this will spur you on to achieve even greater heights in sports and academics.  

3. 2016 was a significant year for Singapore.  We witnessed Team Singapore’s remarkable outing at the Rio 2016 Olympics and Paralympics. Joseph Schooling won Singapore’s first Olympic Gold; and our Paralympians came home with our best ever result of two Gold and one Bronze medals. The Sports School has contributed to Team Singapore’s overall impressive showing at Rio too.  Four Sports School alumni made their debut at the Games – Shuttler Liang Xiao Yu as well as sailors Denise Lim, Griselda Khng and Jovina Choo. They join four other Olympians in the School’s Roll of Honour.

4. I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate Xiao Yu, who will be receiving the Outstanding Sports Achievement Award tonight.  Did you know that Xiao Yu was ranked outside the world’s top 100 just a year before the Olympics?  Through countless hours of training, she rose through the ranks to No. 30 in less than a year, and eventually made it to the Olympics.  She has shown us that we can reach our goals if we are determined and work hard. I’d like to challenge all of you to be bold in your sporting pursuits. One day, you will also do Singapore proud on the world stage.

5. Over the years, the Sports School has contributed to Singapore’s pipeline of sporting talents. Apart from its excellent sports programmes, the School also provides flexible and athlete-friendly academic pathways such as the International Baccalaureate diploma programme (IBDP) to support student-athletes’ dual priorities in sport and studies.

6. Just two weeks ago, the Sports School celebrated stellar IBDP results.  Congratulations to golfer Sabrina Chau, who has done the School proud by being the first student to achieve a perfect score of 45 points! Please put our hands together for Sabrina!

7. Avelyn Leong Kit Yan, who currently plays for the national Under-21 netball team, is also one of the School’s success stories.  Avelyn enrolled in the express stream in 2010 with a relatively modest PSLE T-score.  However, she is now among the top IBDP scorers in the School. She credits her success to the School’s athlete-friendly environment, as well as dedicated support from her classmates and teachers.  Indeed, the School has proven that with the right environment, it is possible for one to pursue and excel in both sports and academics.

Partnerships are Valuable to Ensure Quality Sports and Academic Programmes

8. I would like to acknowledge the efforts of the Sports School’s partners, which have enabled the Sports School to deliver quality sports and academic programmes to its student-athletes.

9. One key partnership is with the National Youth Sports Institute (NYSI) in developing our student-athletes to reach their fullest potential.  

10. The School also recently started its partnership with Ngee Ann Polytechnic to offer student-athletes the option of pursuing a diploma in Business Studies.  This is in addition to the School’s long-standing collaboration with Republic Polytechnic, which offers a diploma programme in Sports and Leisure Management, as well as existing programmes with the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) and the IB Organisation.

11. These academic partnerships provide Sports School students with through-train pathways to post-secondary programmes.  This gives our students added flexibility to find a balance between studies and sports, and prepares them for a career after sports. 

12. The Sports School has also established a number of international partnerships to offer more training, sparring and competition opportunities for its student-athletes.  Such high-level exposure has spurred our athletes to work even harder to improve their performance.

Looking Forward to the 29th SEA Games

13. 2017 will be another exciting year as we look forward to the 29th SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur.  In 2015, when the 28th SEA Games was held on home ground, 96 Sports School students and alumni contributed to about 40% of the Gold medals won by Team Singapore.  This is an excellent result. I urge all athletes, coaches, teachers and staff of Sports School not to rest on your laurels, but continue to strive to do better at the upcoming Games. I’m sure you will do Singapore proud!

14. Once again, my heartiest congratulations to all award recipients.  Well done!  I wish everyone a great evening ahead. 

Last Updated: 05 April 2017

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