Little fanfare for sailing

SINGAPORE'S sailing representatives have achieved some amazing feats over the past few months and years, with the most recent major accomplishment being the two gold medals won at last year's Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China.

This speaks volumes for the sport itself and how it has matured to become one of Singapore's niche sporting events, in which its athletes can compete at the world level and win awards and medals.

However, there still seems to be a lack of recognition for the sport here.

For instance, at the recent 28th SEA Games, there was much fanfare about the "big" sports such as swimming and football - with certain swimmers and football players being mentioned constantly on television and in newspapers.

In addition, their events were screened on television for the entire nation to watch and support, which undoubtedly promotes the sport to the whole nation.

Sailing, one of the golden sports for Singapore, however, did not have its events screened on television.

At the Olympic Games, sailing - together with swimming, football and other sports - is screened on television for the world to watch, appreciate and cheer on their favourite athletes.

If sailing can be screened at the Olympics, shouldn't it be screened at the SEA Games as well?

Screening sailing events would allow Singaporeans to know how the sport is played and, perhaps, nudge them into taking an interest in it.

Most importantly, it could help to promote the sport to the entire nation, and this might pave the way for future sailing prospects to join the sport and carry on its legacy.

I hope we will get the chance to see sailing events being screened on TV at the next SEA Games.

Koh Yi Qian

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 20, 2015, with the headline 'Little fanfare for sailing'. Print Edition | Subscribe