Para sports: Grace Fu lauds Asean Para Games contingent's fighting spirit at awards presentation

Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu handing the Singapore flag to Asian Youth Para Games chef de mission Yip Pin Xiu.
Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu, para swimmer Yip Pin Xiu and other Singapore para athletes posing on stage during the Athletes' Achievement Ceremony on Oct 25, 2017.
Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu, para swimmer Yip Pin Xiu and other Singapore para athletes posing on stage during the Athletes' Achievement Ceremony on Oct 25, 2017.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - The Republic's para athletes had a night to remember at Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre on Wednesday (Oct 25), as their sporting feats were celebrated at the Athletes' Achievement Ceremony.

Spirits were high as the 200 officials, athletes and their families cheered loudly during speeches and live performances throughout the evening.

Team Singapore returned with a haul of 10 gold, 18 silver and 24 bronze medals from the 9th Asean Para Games held in Kuala Lumpur in September. The ceremony saw gold medallists handed $2,000 for each individual medal, and $3,000 for each team medal. A total of $19,000, sponsored by Tote Board and NTUC, was presented to nine medallists.

Twenty per cent of the quantum ($3,800) would be channelled back to the Singapore Disability Sports Council (SDSC) for training and development support.

In her speech, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu praised the grit of the Singaporean athletes, saying: "The journey wasn't an easy one, it was arduous and punishing but to see you flying the Singapore flag so high at the Games brought chills to my spine."

The evening also saw Yip Pin Xiu receiving the Singapore flag from Ms Fu, as the para swimmer takes on a new role as the chef de mission for the upcoming 3rd Asian Youth Para Games to be held in Dubai from Dec 10-14.

Team Singapore will be sending its biggest contingent to the continental showpiece with 31 athletes - triple that for the last edition in 2013.

Yip, who has won three Paralympic gold medals, said: "I am very honoured to be able to give back to the athletes after competing for so many years. I really want to be able to lead the athletes.

"With my experience from competing, I hope I can be a good leader. I know how competitions are like, I know what athletes need during Games. A lot of them are at their first Games, I hope they can get good experience so they will continue to do what they love to do."