More anecdotes, told with a sense of parental anger and disappointment, about the poor level of support being given to national athletes are slowly emerging from the woodwork, following Mr Dennis Tan’s revelation about Singapore Airlines’ sponsorship of the New Zealand dragonboat team at the recent World Junior Championships.
The latest came out today in the forum section of the online edition of The Straits Times. This time, the guns are being aimed at the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports.
And once again, it makes for a painful heartbreaking read as one cannot help wincing at the state of local sports that is gradually being unveiled by all these letters.
Let me know what you think.
Yours in sport
Singapore Sports Fan
State should support students taking part in any international meet
(The Straits Times, Online Forum, 5 Sept 2009)
I AM the father of one of the girls on the dragon boat team that went to Prague and won the Dragon Boat World Junior title. I was surprised to read Thursday’s letter by Mr Dennis Tan, ‘Struggling Singaporeans and lucky Kiwis’, and I felt for the Singaporean youngsters.
This is such irony, that we are the citizens of Singapore, one united people – and our national carrier sponsored the New Zealand team. The Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS) seems indifferent to such world events, in which our own people participate.
In January 2007, my eldest daughter and her touch rugby team went to South Africa to take part in the Women’s World Touch Rugby tournament. Each team member had to raise about $5,000 to represent Singapore; they raised the money themselves and went. As touch rugby was in its formative stage, they were not expected to win, but the team came in fourth, which was creditable. There was no support for representing the country until I wrote to MCYS and the team was asked to collect a Singapore flag and some banners to take along.
Does one have to play football or table tennis to be recognised? Why do the authorities support sports with foreign talent when Singaporeans are neglected.
Perhaps the authorities should set aside a budget for teams that represent Singapore in any international event. Some form of support or funding should be given. Bringing glory to the country but having to pay for it the hard way does not seem right in principle.