Honoured for being selfless

Two special awards will be presented at the Singapore Sports Awards (SSA) on Thursday, the selection committee announced yesterday.

Rhythmic gymnastics coach Zhu Xiaoping will be honoured for her fortitude, which she demonstrated by helping her charges to prepare for last year's SEA Games despite her battle with cancer.

The other recipient is marathoner Ashley Liew, whose act of sportsmanship at last year's SEA Games drew plaudits on social media.

Upon realising that the leading pack of runners had missed a U-turn as it was dark, Liew gave up his 50m lead over the pack by slowing down to allow them to catch up.

Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, chairman of the SSA selection committee and president of the Singapore National Olympic Council, visited Zhu at her home in Sengkang yesterday.

Mr Tan, who is also the Minister for Social and Family Development said: "Sports isn't just about winning alone... It's good for us to recognise and celebrate their success as well, to remind Singaporeans that it's not just about winning medals, but it's also how we compete and how we support.

"Their examples are really quite inspiring."

Liew, who will miss the presentation as he will be attending his graduation ceremony at Sherman College of Chiropractic in South Carolina, said in a statement: "It is extremely humbling to be receiving this honour.

"Until today, I maintain that what transpired was not extraordinary. I would do it again in a heartbeat in a similar situation."

Ng Keng Gene

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 18, 2016, with the headline 'Honoured for being selfless'. Print Edition | Subscribe