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Look into issues raised by marathoner

Marathoner Soh Rui Yong was frank and open in sharing his thoughts on the recent issues which cast the spotlight on him (Rebel or voice of the sport?; Oct 2).

While it may be convenient to dismiss Soh as a troublemaker, our sports authorities, including the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) and Sport Singapore, should seriously look into the issues he has raised.

There could be many other athletes who share his views but have opted to remain silent.

It is also important to review the funding support given to our national athletes, especially those who have done the nation proud.

For instance, I understand that our national footballers and officials each receive $60 per day whenever they travel overseas for matches, including friendly games. A one-week trip for a delegation of 30 players and officials would mean a figure of $12,600.

Are such allowances also given - at a similar rate - to athletes in other sports, including swimming, table tennis and athletics, whenever they travel overseas?

SNOC and Sport Singapore must be fair and objective in their disbursement of funds and support to our sportsmen.

We have to groom more Joseph Schoolings and Soh Rui Yongs, and it would be easier to do so if we have a proper development and support system which allows our young stars to train under the best conditions.

To do so, our sports authorities must ensure fairness towards all sports and also make sure that all national sports associations fulfil their duties well.

Has Sport Singapore conducted surveys among our athletes to find out the problems they face and the level of support they receive from their national sports associations?

It may well be time to do so if we are serious about promoting sports both as a recreational activity and as a career.

Chan Siang Ming

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 08, 2017, with the headline 'Look into issues raised by marathoner'. Print Edition | Subscribe