PM Lee visits SSI, wants full Games support

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and SSI head of sport psychology Tracey Veivers watch as kayaker Sarah Chen shows how the iPad and Versus headset are used to help athletes with their mental conditioning. Behind them are Dr Frankie Tan (left), principa
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and SSI head of sport psychology Tracey Veivers watch as kayaker Sarah Chen shows how the iPad and Versus headset are used to help athletes with their mental conditioning. Behind them are Dr Frankie Tan (left), principal sport physiologist & director at the SSI's Sports Science Centre and Sport Singapore chief executive officer Lim Teck Yin.PHOTO COURTESY OF SPORTSG

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has called on the country to rally behind the nation's top athletes as they prepare for the SEA Games and Asean Para Games in Kuala Lumpur this year.

He said this after a visit to the Singapore Sports Institute (SSI) yesterday afternoon, where he was introduced to the facilities and technologies used there to support the country's best sportsmen and women.

The SSI was established in 2011 and provides support for national athletes in areas such as sports science and sports medicine, as well as nutrition.

"With the upcoming SEA Games and Asean Para Games, athletes are using the facilities to maximise their performance, and hopefully win more medals for us," Mr Lee said. "Let's support our athletes as they fly our flag at the Games. We are stronger together. Go Team Singapore!"

He interacted with sports scientists at the SSI, as well as athletes who were there to showcase some of the technologies the SSI utilises.

Among them was kayaker Sarah Chen, who demonstrated how technology can be used through the iPad and other equipment to help athletes work on their mental conditioning. Team-mate Syaheenul Aiman also shared his dietary regimen on a typical day with Mr Lee.

TEAM EFFORT

Our athletes do not do it alone. They are strongly supported by the staff and coaches at the SSI who help them to improve their performance, and recover from sports-related injuries.

PM LEE HSIEN LOONG, hailing the important work done by SSI staff.

Said the 27-year-old: "I shared with him how like many Singaporean kids, I grew up without a habit of eating vegetables and also unknowingly had quite a high sugar intake. After working with the nutritionist, I'm making an effort to cut out what I don't need.

"I was a bit nervous but PM Lee was very friendly and cheerful so it became a very light-hearted interaction and was not stressful like I thought it would be."

Said Mr Lee: "Team Singapore athletes did us proud at last year's Rio Olympics and Paralympics. They continue to work hard, as they strive to excel in their respective sports.

"But our athletes do not do it alone. They are strongly supported by the staff and coaches at the SSI who help them to improve their performance, and recover from sports-related injuries.

"My thanks to Team Singapore athletes and staff at SSI for your hard work and endurance."

The SEA Games take place from Aug 19-30, with the Asean Para Games to follow from Sept 17-23.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 17, 2017, with the headline 'PM Lee visits SSI, wants full Games support'. Print Edition | Subscribe