Looking forward to 2017: The sports desk's wishes

Let student-athletes have their soapbox

Trust our young athletes in 2017 by letting them speak their minds.
Trust our young athletes in 2017 by letting them speak their minds. PHOTO: MINISTRY OF EDUCATION

Following a year where Singapore's excellent student-athletes returned home from the 8th Asean Schools Games in Chiang Mai with 13 golds, 14 silvers and 30 bronzes, I'd like to see just one thing: for school officials to trust these athletes more.

Trust our young athletes in 2017 by letting them speak their minds. Trust them by letting them take responsibility for their words. Trust them by letting them learn from their own mistakes - both on and off the pitch.

These children may be young, but they are also far more intelligent, funny and resilient than people give them credit for. Teachers have to let them express their personalities. After all, in the competitive sporting arena only confidence will work, not timidity.

There is a fine line between guidance and over-protection and I hope, this year, that the student-athletes' voices we hear are truly their own.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 01, 2017, with the headline 'Let student-athletes have their soapbox'. Print Edition | Subscribe