Go beyond monetary rewards to motivate athletes

So far, we have had two medal winners in the Paralympics - a gold medal by Yip Pin Xiu and a bronze medal by Theresa Goh ("S'pore on track for best showing at Paralympics"; Sept 13).

But apart from congratulatory messages by the Government, the nation seems to have fallen behind in celebrating our para-swimmers' success.

Big corporations have not taken out congratulatory messages in the print media. Other than a very recent offer of free flights from AirAsia, no other discounts seem to have been given to honour our para-swimmers' success yet ("AirAsia to give free flights for life to Asean Paralympic champions, including Singapore's Yip Pin Xiu"; ST Online, Sept 13).

This is in contrast to the enthusiastic celebrations after Joseph Schooling won a gold medal in the Olympics last month.

We often talk about an inclusive society, but it seems that we have not yet fully embraced it.

I hope our national carrier Singapore Airlines will bring our Paralympic athletes home with great pride. There should be a water cannon salute to welcome them, and a red carpet when they touch down. We should take them on a victory parade in an open-top bus.

We must go beyond monetary reward to keep our athletes motivated and for them to continue to be role models for future generations.

If we are to motivate and encourage our future generations to go into sports, we have to start now, when the stories are just created and are fresh in our minds.

Schooling, Yip and Goh are our big sports heroes, and we need to nurture many more like them.

Pradip Mandal