Towards a sporting nation with world beaters

The words of MP Lee Bee Wah, an adviser to the Singapore Swimming Association and former president of the Singapore Table Tennis Association, merit attention ("S'pore has some way to go to be a sporting nation: Lee Bee Wah"; Sept 14).

The strategy of "sports for all" is too general, as it stresses mass participation in sporting activities to stay healthy. The qualitative aspects of how to excel are not spelt out.

Letting in foreign sports talent to represent the Republic may not be the best strategy, as this may not spur Singapore-born athletes to be world champions.

Passion and love for the sport must first come together with a big dream of being the best in the world.

It was long after the days of All England badminton champion Wong Peng Soon and Olympic weightlifter Tan Howe Liang that swimmer Joseph Schooling arrived to light up the Singapore spirit.

Discipline, self-sacrifice and self-mastery of the sport, together with guidance from top-notch coaches, are the other essential ingredients in building a potential champion. Then, he must be good enough to compete in the world arena, ever eager to learn first-hand from top players.

Only then can Singapore be a sporting nation with more world beaters.

Gan Kok Tiong