Project 0812 to be made into a book

The story of Project 0812, the concerted effort by multiple parties united in pursuit of Olympic glory at the 2008 and 2012 Games, will soon be chronicled in a book.

Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin, who announced this yesterday, said the journey that ended a 48-year wait for success at sport's grandest stage contained precious lessons and deserves to be retold.

"The 'Project 0812' remains a rare initiative of such magnitude in Singapore sport, where all partners involved united, took the genesis of an idea and turned it into reality," he said.

Mr Tan, who is also president of the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC), was speaking at the Singapore Table Tennis Association (STTA)'s annual awards night at the Civil Service Club.

Conceived in 2006, the idea of Project 0812 started as an informal chit-chat but later caught on and eventually became a tripartite effort between the SNOC, the then-Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports and then-Singapore Sports Council.

It was backed by a war chest of $7 million for a squad of 22 athletes - badminton players, table tennis players, shooters and sailors - preparing for the Beijing and London Games.

Chaired by International Olympic Committee member Ng Ser Miang, it bore fruit at the 2008 Games when Singapore's paddlers won a silver in the women's team event, the Republic's first podium finish at the Olympics since Tan Howe Liang's weightlifting silver in 1960.

At the 2012 Games, the paddlers again found success, returning with a silver and a bronze.

Added Mr Tan: "... the SNOC will be publishing a book later this year which will document and preserve the heritage of a successful Olympic initiative so more people can read and learn of this can-do spirit demonstrated by the Singapore sports community."

The book, which is expected to be published before the Rio Olympics in August, will be written by former Straits Times journalist Peh Shing Huei.

May Chen

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 20, 2016, with the headline 'Project 0812 to be made into a book'. Print Edition | Subscribe