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MCCY Minister: 'Be Bold, Be Determined'

Awards Night 2018

Past and present student-athletes gathered on 25 January 2018 to celebrate Singapore Sports School’s achievements for 2017 at its annual Awards Night.

Last year, 104 past and present student-athletes took part in 17 of the 38 sports competed at the 29th Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur and contributed to 31 per cent of the gold medals won by Team Singapore. Sports School also had 32 student-athletes at the ASEAN School Games, and they contributed to more than 40 per cent of the total number of gold medals won by Singapore Schools.

In her speech, Minister for Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu highlighted the achievements of several notable SEA Games gold medallists – debutant fencer Amita Marie Nicolette Berthier, multiple gold medallist synchronised swimmer Debbie Soh Li Fei and the men’s bowling team that made history by winning the Team gold medal after a lapse of 22 years, of which five out of the six team members – Basil Dill Ng Jui Chang, Darren Ong Wei Siong, Keith Saw Hui-Xun, Muhammad Jaris Goh Ali Akbar Goh and Timothy Theodore Tham Fu Rong – are from Sports School.

Ms Fu said she hopes their stories will inspire the younger student-athletes to be bold and determined in their sport pursuits, and she looks forward to seeing them wear the Singapore flag on their chest and doing Singapore proud on the world podium one day.

To the high performance athletes, Ms Fu said: “2018 will be another exciting year for the Sports School as we look forward to the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast, the Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang, as well as the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires. I would like to call on the Sports School team to strive hard and aim for better outcomes. We look forward to cheering you on as you fly Singapore’s flag high.”

On the academic front, Sports School also excelled. Our International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme class scored an average 40 points out of a possible 45 for the third year with as many graduating cohorts. Among the top scorers, cricketer Tan Zay Hua and golfer Jacqueline De Los Reyes Young had competed at the SEA Games, and Muhammad Amirul Haikal Mohamed Hassim played in the ASEAN Football Federation Under 18 Championship. Both the SEA Games and the ASEAN competitions took place less than three months before the IBDP final examinations.

Student-athletes who sat for the GCE "O" Level Examinations achieved 5 or more subject passes to be eligible for Junior Colleges and Polytechnics. Every one of our Normal Academic student-athletes achieved 100 per cent subject passes and are eligible for Secondary 5; our only Normal Technical student-athlete has started classes at ITE.

This year’s Moo Soon Chong Outstanding Student-Athlete of the Year recipients are gymnast Phebe Meredith Lau Zhi Ling and wushu exponent Chan Jun Kai (Secondary School); shuttler Crystal Wong Jia Ying and paddler Clarence Chew Zhe Yu (Post-Secondary).

My MP, My Minister

By Basil Dill Ng
DSLM Year 4

“Hullo, Minister. I’m so thrilled that you acknowledged me as your constituent.”

“Of course I remember my sport star,” said Ms Grace Fu, Member of Parliament for Jurong GRC.

Ms Fu, Minister for Culture, Community and Sports, was the guest-of-honour at Singapore Sports School’s Awards Night on 25 January 2018, and in her speech, she had congratulated the men’s bowling team, captained by “my resident” Muhammad Jaris Goh Ali Akbar Goh for winning the Southeast Asian Games Bowling Men’s Team gold medal after a lapse of 22 years.

At the poolside buffet dinner after the formal programme, Jaris introduced to the Ms Fu eight of the 10 members of the current National Bowling Men’s Team – all from Sports School’s customised Diploma in Sports and Leisure Management (DSLM) programme. With the Jakarta-Palembang 2018 Asian Games coming up in August, Ms Fu was keen to find out how the keglers were gearing up for their selections in the coming month.

“We still feel the jitters and excitement in every competition,” said alumnus Keith Saw Hui-Xun, a two-time gold medallist in as many editions of the SEA Games. “With the upcoming selection for the Asian Games, mainly among ourselves, we will be as we always have been – competitors on the lanes and brothers off them.”

Ms Fu asked swimmer Maximillian Ang Wei about his sport targets and chosen academic pathway.

“My immediate dreams are to qualify for the Asian Games and the Youth Olympic Games. I also want to win a gold medal at the Davao 2019 SEA Games. Beyond that, I want to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games,” said Maximillian, who will start his first year on the DSLM programme in March.

“Minister asked how the DSLM programme will help me achieve my sport dreams while I’m studying full-time. I told her that I’m confident the athlete-friendly programme will allow me to defer some modules for intensive training and overseas competitions; I have seen how my seniors have benefitted from such arrangements,” added Maximillian, winner of 5 gold medals at the 2017 Pacific School Games.

Kimberly Quek, who had won the Master Final bronze medal at the 2017 Deaflympics, was instantly recognised by Ms Fu.

“You’re a bowler, right?” asked Ms Fu.

“Minister asked how I started bowling and what I plan to do after graduating from Sports School. I told her that I’m in IBDP Year 5 and my target is to win a gold medal in a major deaf games and a podium finish in a national competition,” said Kimberly. 

Ms Fu also spoke with three alumni who have returned to Sports School as staff. She wanted to know what their journey was like in the early 2000s and what the difference is for the current student-athletes.

Miss Gail Chia, from the 2004 batch of Track and Field student-athletes, who is now a Strategic Communications Executive, said: “Student-athletes are privileged to have so many opportunities and options provided for them to pursue their sport and academic aspirations, and develop Champion habits and character traits now.

“Sports School has many partners, some local and others overseas. Overseas training and competition stints expose student-athletes to a higher level of play when they spar with international athletes, which accelerates their sport development. The through-train programmes offered at Sports School provide student-athletes a longer runway to fulfil their sport potential. I wish I had these same academic options back then when I was still a student-athlete.”

The other two staff are Miss Kayla Lau from the 2005 Track and Field cohort, currently a Sports Administration Executive, and Miss Geraldine Ng from the 2005 Netball batch, now serving as Assistant Coach in the Netball Academy.