Values to learn from successful SEA Games

LIKE many fellow Singaporeans, I commend our SEA Games athletes for their spirited performances, the organisers for their efficiency, and the army of volunteers for their dedication ("Friendship the biggest winner at the Games"; yesterday).

The passion of our spectators in supporting and cheering on our athletes was also memorable.

There were so many occasions when our athletes displayed the grit and focus of competing in a high-pressure elite arena.

Irrespective of whether medals were won or not, the collective display of quality performances in intense competitions by our athletes can provide valuable lessons to the nation.

Many claim that sports build character and imbue values. What then can we learn from the athletes?

Those values associated with performance character, such as discipline, focus, and resilience, can be emulated in areas of work. Social values such as accountability, commitment and positive work habits are similarly desired at work and school.

Lastly, marathoner Ashley Liew provided the best example of a moral value, when he waited for other runners to get back on the right path, thus ensuring fairness when competing.

Even our spectators displayed moral values of loyalty and respect.

Team Singapore has not only done well in the Games but has also shown the nation that sports can build desirable character traits.

Living out these values can also be done outside of sports - in our schools, workplaces and homes. Our institutions, whether educational, government or corporate, should consider how these lessons can be translated into school and workplace practices, so that we can all perform in our respective roles in the same spirit as our athletes did.

Ch'ng Teck Heong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 18, 2015, with the headline 'Values to learn from successful SEA Games'. Print Edition | Subscribe