No awards for athletes who miss NSG

Katong Convent girls warming up during the National School Games' B Division bowling singles championship in April. The sport is one of the 12 eligible for Colours Awards as it was contested before the NSG's cancellation.
Katong Convent girls warming up during the National School Games' B Division bowling singles championship in April. The sport is one of the 12 eligible for Colours Awards as it was contested before the NSG's cancellation. ST FILE PHOTO

Student-athletes who were unable to compete in this year's National School Games (NSG) after the competition was canned owing to the Covid-19 pandemic will not be eligible for the Singapore Schools Sports Council (SSSC) Colours Awards, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said yesterday.

This would have an impact on those who did not finish competing in the A Division in badminton, tennis, volleyball and table tennis when the Games were suspended last month, as well as student-athletes in the junior and C Division which could not be held.

But those who are representing the Singapore Schools sports teams or the state through the Singapore National Olympic Council, Singapore Disability Sports Council, national sports associations or SSSC sports at major Games can still be nominated for the award.

Student-athletes who competed in the NSG's 12 sports - badminton, bowling, golf, gymnastics, rope skipping, sepak takraw, shooting, table tennis, taekwondo (poomsae), tennis, 3v3 volleyball and wushu - before it was cancelled would also be eligible for the award, said the MOE.

The ministry had announced on Monday that the suspended school competition would be axed for the second consecutive year in order to minimise the intermingling of students from different schools.

This year's NSG, which featured just 12 of the competition's 29 sports, started in March with the A, B and senior Divisions, a month after it was originally scheduled to begin following an increase in the number of coronavirus cases in the community.

It was then suspended from May 8 owing to a spike in community cases. The junior and C Division competitions were initially scheduled to begin in Term 3, which starts on June 28.

Then Education Minister Lawrence Wong said in a parliamentary reply last month that student-athletes whose sports are not contested at this year's NSG will not be considered for the Colours Awards. These sports included athletics, swimming, basketball, football and netball.

All students selected to represent their schools in the NSG's 29 sports would still be accorded recognition for school representation and credited with co-curricular activity achievement, said the MOE yesterday.

Last year, 309 student-athletes were recognised for their achievements and good character at the 50th SSSC Colours Awards despite the NSG being cancelled. Winners were selected based on their performances in competitions before the pandemic, such as the 2019 SEA Games in the Philippines.

Recipients of this year's awards will be announced in September.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 19, 2021, with the headline No awards for athletes who miss NSG. Subscribe