The efforts and achievements of ASEAN Para Games (APG) Team Singapore athletes were celebrated in an event hosted by President Tony Tan at the Istana on Saturday.
In the recent APG, which was declared “the best Games ever” by former ASEAN Para Sports Federation (APSF) President Dato Zainal Abu Zarin, Team Singapore claimed a total of 24 golds, 17 silvers and 22 bronzes.
Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, Grace Fu, lauded the extraordinary feats of the athletes and credited the success of the APG to a team effort by the entire Team Singapore.
Minister Grace Fu (centre) interacting with APG Team Singapore table tennis athletes. Photo: Sport Singapore
“It is through the support of the entire Team Singapore that our athletes are able to perform to their best. Their hardwork, determination and fighting spirit have impressed the nation and inspired many,” Minister Fu said in a speech.
“Before the Games, many of our athletes told me that they have trained very, very hard so as to wear the national colours, win medals for the country, fly the Singapore flag and hear Majulah Singapura on the podium.”
“And you have surely done so in style. Singaporeans have been moved to tears by your performances.”
President Tan, who also gave a speech at the reception, said winning medals and breaking records in the APG has helped create more awareness and support for people with disabilities.
President Tony Tan (second from right) and First Lady Mary Chee (far right) speaking to guests at the event. Photo: Sport Singapore
“Through your achievements, the public has come to know more about you and about disability sports. Other person with disabilities, they would also be motivated to overcome the odds, lead active lives and even represent Singapore one day,” President Tan said.
But as much publicity as the APG has given disability sports, there is still much to be done to create an even more inclusive society, said Chairman of the Singapore National Paralympic Council Dr Teo-Koh Sock Miang.
“With the public education that happened during the APG, continuously working with Sport Singapore, Singapore Disability Sports Council and the Special Olympics, we have to continually engage the public,” Dr Teo-Koh said.
“The onus now is on our athletes to continue training. Our athletes also need to go out and recruit friends that they know of, or organisations they may know of so we can bring in more athletes for Singapore.”