Good chance to get more youth into sports

MY HEARTIEST congratulations to Team Singapore for the overwhelming success in the just-ended SEA Games 2015.

Before the Games, we set ourselves a humble goal of 50 golds to commemorate our golden jubilee. But we had a big haul of 259 medals, of which a whooping 84 were gold. We are just a small country, but we are behind only Thailand in gold standings.

Our boys and girls put in their very best in different events, with a strong determination to win honours for Singapore and to add to our SG50 celebrations. They endured long hours of tough training, sacrificing family and personal time, and incurring extra expenses.

But with all the excitement of our huge success, we must not forget the coaches and trainers involved in the months of preparations. They, too, are deserving of commendation.

Those who did not win medals should be heartened that they were all part of Team Singapore and still played a part in our big success.

It is the spirit of participation and sportsmanship, meeting participants and extending our friendship, that is most important (“Friendship the biggest winner at the Games”; yesterday). This is the ultimate goal of the Games.

For our country, it is a good opportunity to capitalise on our SEA Games success to spur more youngsters to take up sports. We are weak in field events, and this area needs more focus.

Perhaps, the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth and grassroots organisations could do more to reach out to youngsters to engage them more in sports. This is also a good way for them to channel their energies positively.

Jeff Tan Hong Liak