The Straits Times
Published on Feb 07, 2013

Don't undermine mainstream school paddlers


MY SON went through a stringent selection trial last month and was confirmed a place in the Singapore Table Tennis Association's (STTA) national youth team ("YOG selection rule furore"; Jan 29).

In contrast, his counterparts in the Singapore Sports School's School Within A School (SWS) programme did not have to go through such a trial, by dint of their enrolment in the Sports School.

I supported my son as I believe in an open and transparent policy, where only results matter after putting in hard work and sacrifice.

I cannot understand how STTA chief Lee Bee Wah can defend its policy. Opting for the SWS programme, with so many privileges and benefits attached to it, is hardly a "sacrifice".

Instead, those like my son, who did not join the programme and opted for a mainstream school, are the ones making a sacrifice.

The STTA should not undermine the aspirations of paddlers outside the SWS programme to become national players one day.

The national youth team itself is the final stage en route to the national team.

I hope the STTA still has meritocracy as one of its core values, and that only the best will represent Singapore on the international stage.

Stephen Chia Teck Kiang