Team Singapore dress for success with medal pocket

When Team Singapore march out at tonight's opening ceremony, everyone in the contingent will be sporting a slightly modified look, after the team blazer underwent a recent redesign.

Some of the athletes, such as newly-minted SEA Games champion fencer Wang Wenying or members of the synchronised swimming team, might even have tucked something extra in their inside pockets.

The Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) has added a medal pocket to the blazers, giving what has always been viewed as the formal team attire a light-hearted touch.

A label carrying a cheeky caption is even sewn above the pocket. It reads: "Kiss medal. Bite medal. Place medal here."

Said Chris Chan, secretary-general of the SNOC: "Pockets are meant to be filled.

"We hope that by adding this pocket, the athletes will be motivated to fill it up.

"While going through the design process, we wanted to add a fun element to the uniform which the athletes would like and embrace; hence, we went for a personalised message and a quirky caption."

It is a gesture that is appreciated by athletes, especially those who admit to habitually admiring the fruit of their labour.

Said swimmer Nur Marina Chan: "I like to take a medal out and look at it over and over again because it's such a surreal experience.

"Athletes like to keep medals close because of all the hard work we've put in for it, no matter what colour the medal is."

Track sprinter Lee Cheng Wei, who is competing in his fourth Games and has three silvers from previous outings, added: "It's pretty cool to have something like this.

"I guess when we see it, we'll think about getting a medal to put in there."

Besides the medal pocket, the SNOC also worked with Esther Tay, designer and owner of local corporate-wear tailor Esta, to give the blazers a more modern touch.

The cut is now leaner, the colour has been tweaked to a different shade of red and the crest is now directly embroidered onto the blazer.

Said Chan: "We hope that the team will embrace the design of the uniform and wear it with pride when they are representing Singapore.

"Kinship and team spirit take more than a uniform to create but we are certain that the Singapore spirit is strong and hope that more Singaporeans will join us in wearing the colours of our flag at the SEA Games."

maychen@sph.com.sg

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