"Best Away Games' show Team Singapore on course
13 September 2017
Jeremy Lee/ Reuters Plus
The 29th SEA Games is over and it is time for sports administrators to take stock of the successes and failures of the multi-sport event held in Kuala Lumpur.
“This was a very successful SEA Games and our Team Singapore athletes put out a very impressive performance,” said Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, Grace Fu during her opening remarks.
Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, Grace Fu during her opening address. Photo: Sport Singapore
“We have done very well in the medal count and the breadth has done really well. We have seen medals come from games that have been a drought for some years,” she continued.
During the wrap-up, Singapore Sports Institute Chief, Toh Boon Yi, outlined the strides made by Team Singapore and their improvement over the past five major games.
The 29th SEA Games was the fifth consecutive major games with an improvement in results and the best away games with an improvement in both the quality and quantity of the medals.
This shows that Team Singapore is on an upward trajectory whilst other Southeast Asian nations may be plateauing or experiencing downward trends.
The recent SEA Games also demonstrates the commitment that the sporting infrastructure in Singapore has to blooding new athletes with about 54 percent of the contingent made up of debutants.
This ensures younger athletes gain crucial major games experiences as well as rub shoulders with their more experienced contemporaries.
The briefing also demonstrated the success of the spexScholarship scheme. Although spexScholars made up only eight percent of the contingent they contributed to 70% of the medals (28 gold, 14 silver and 16 bronze).
Toh also praised the artistic swimming, diving and sailing teams for sending in young squads who “punched above their weight” and did well, winning 47%, 31% and 29% of the medals in their respective sports.
Sport Singapore CEO, Lim Teck Yin (centre), addressing the media. Photo: Sport Singapore
However it was not all upbeat news as Sport Singapore CEO, Lim Teck Yin, acknowledged that there were problems in several NSAs including athletics and football.
He even went as far as to say that Singapore Athletics would have to “go back to the drawing board” to get things right.
When asked about the future of football in Singapore, Lim said that more time and money must be spent on developing young talent and that Sport Singapore will be working closely with the Football Association of Singapore to affect change.