Impressive display of guts and skill

I recently attended the Asean Para Games football match between Singapore and Myanmar and was blown away by what I witnessed.

I expected a slow-tempo friendly kickabout among people of varying disabilities. Instead, I witnessed a display of skill, resilience, determination and sheer guts.

I saw athletes who wore their hearts on their sleeves, donned their national jerseys with overwhelming pride and played their hearts out.

At one point, Singapore was down 1-5, with just over 10 minutes to go. Our team played on with the conviction that they could still score enough goals to clinch victory.

They ended the game 3-5, with Myanmar the victors. But to the supportive and cheering crowd, it was no loss.

I am an educator, and I find the values on show at the Games important as we raise the next generation of Singaporeans.

We do not pity these athletes because of their disabilities, but we are in awe of their strength.

Our children need to see our athletes' endeavours and performances, hear their stories and understand the true human spirit that transcends disability.

S. B. Sivaganesh

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 09, 2015, with the headline 'Impressive display of guts and skill'. Print Edition | Subscribe