Investing in athletes must be balanced with prudence, pragmatism

Joseph Schooling's success was phenomenal, demonstrating that a tiny red dot is capable of producing a world-class Olympian.

While we bask in the honour and glory accorded by his achievement, it is also timely that we do some reflecting ("Invest in, don't just congratulate, local athletes" by Miss Nurkhalisah Kassim, Aug 20; and "Invest in sporting talent early" by Mr Hua Tye Swee, Aug 21).

The many sacrifices endured by the Schoolings are unquestionable - juggling finances, sacrificing family time and enduring the relentless hours of training.

It remains a fact that the swimmer was met with meagre assistance previously. Yet, after he made sporting history, companies and institutions have been quick to ride on his success.

Many have been lambasted for taking advantage of Schooling's achievements.

I have been left speechless at how quick society was to point fingers. Perhaps, we should take a step back and take a wider perspective.

Had the Government invested more in Schooling since Day One, would he have achieved such stellar results?

If not, would we not, once again, put the blame on the Government?

Conversely, it was perhaps the lack of funding and countless other sacrifices that further fuelled Schooling's determination and drive, resulting in his resounding accomplishments.

Governing a country remains a monumental task. While we support the notion of cultivating and nurturing local sporting talent, we should bear in mind that doing so would require a balance of prudence and pragmatism.

Let us not be engulfed by a minute's anger, or be susceptible to ill comments by naysayers.

Singapore has always been admired as an economic miracle. As other countries aspire to follow suit, let us also inspire them by being a sensible and responsible community.

Lin Hao Lun

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