On Facebook

What would it take for more Singapore athletes to emulate Joseph Schooling's Olympic achievement?

Have a sports version of the gifted education programme. This way, we can spot individuals who are truly talented and are intent on pursuing the sport as a career.

Families who cannot afford the training can receive funding and aid (and I don't mean just the low-income families, even those in the middle class struggle to fund their children's passions).

Upon entry into the programme, they can choose to train locally or overseas at an established institution.

For instance, table-tennis players should train in China and swimmers can go to the school Joseph Schooling went to.

For male athletes, national service deferment should be allowed.

Should they win medals in the Olympics, let them defer NS until their Olympic career is over, serving NS afterwards.

Ultimately, the mindset of parents that sports has no future in Singapore needs to change. Without this crucial part, Schooling might just be the only person to ever get gold.

Nicole Ng

Reduce the national service duration to one year (three months of basic military training and nine months of vocational training), then spread out the other year across the 10-year cycle that national servicemen usually serve.

There needs to be 100 per cent supportive infrastructure in place (that is, funding, facilities, coaches) for Singaporean sportsmen, especially for the Singapore Sports School.

Stop importing foreign sports players.

And stop harping on football. It is not Singapore's only sport to focus on. Focus on Winter Olympics sports as well.

Ng Ek Ngee

Identify talent in children from a young age.

Find a different way to measure key performance indicators apart from medal haul.

Relook all the different national sports associations. Many are not run well. Many are choosing shortcuts to get funding.

Bring in the best the world has to offer but not just to win medals. They need to invest , develop and inspire our local talents.

Our education system needs to be more supportive. Not every athlete can excel in his studies.

Support and fund those who have already shown calibre. Our national athletes should not have to crowdfund for their training.

Persuade companies to start sponsoring athletes and not just spend more on advertisements. Start supporting them now for 2020.

Renee Tan


Ensuring a sustainable supply of blood is said to be a key aspect of civil defence. In what ways can more people be encouraged to donate blood?

Dispel misconceptions about it. Some fear the needles might be contaminated, some fear it will be painful, some fear it will be bad for their health.

Vivian Liew

What are the stumbling blocks for children in pursuing their passions? How can we help them go for their dreams?

Kids can say they like a certain activity but when the training gets tough, they lose interest. Joseph Schooling is an exceptional kid who persevered, and that is very rare, given that most kids these days are so sheltered.

Josephine Lim

The problem is kids do not have the time to develop non-academic interests.

Lai Yin Lee

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 20, 2016, with the headline 'On Facebook'. Print Edition | Subscribe