Updated: 12/24/2013 20:42

Judge Team Singapore by their stories, not their medal haul, says Sports Council CEO

Judge Team Singapore by their stories, not their medal haul, says Sports Council CEO

Singapore Sports Council CEO Lim Teck Yin disagrees with comments that Team Singapore athletes had a poor outing in the recently concluded SEA Games in Myanmar. 

Speaking to TalkBack on 938LIVE, he says it's not possible to compare Team Singapore's performance with previous editions of the Games. 

Singapore finished 6th in the SEA Games in Myanmar. 

In total, Team Singapore athletes won 108 medals, of which 34 are gold. 

Some are saying, though, that Team Singapore's performance this year was not as good as that in previous years. 

For example, our athletes won 160 medals in the Indonesia SEA Games in 2011, out of which 42 were gold. 

The Sports Council's CEO Lim Teck Yin says such comparisons are faulty at best. 

"I don't think there are very clear apples-to-apples comparison with previous games. The sports in the SEA Games which are selected from edition to edition do vary. For example, bowling, which is a traditional strong sport for Singapore was not featured in the Games, so we don't have a few gold medals here." 

He adds that, ultimately, it's not the colour of the medal that counts. 

"I would also say, that this SEA Games has again highlighted to us that victory is not just determined by the colour of the medal. But victory is determined by the stories that have been told." 

He highlights the basketball team as a sterling example. 

"They won a bronze medal. But it's been a bronze medal that's been a long time in coming. First victories over Malaysia and Indonesia in years. But I was at the venue. And day by day, the local crowd started to get behind our boys; they started cheering for Singapore. And the boys cried in their game, after they beat Indonesia, because they recognised, what it was about. It was about their spirit, their heart, in preparing all these years, for that moment." 

Addressing the concerns of inconsistent funding for some sports, Mr Lim says the Sports Council introduced a multi-year Sports Plan framework several years ago. 

He says the council is revising the funding framework to match the multi-year sports plan. 

Meanwhile, the Sports Council will roll out a series of community engagement events leading up to the Singapore SEA Games in 2015. 

The Sports Council will also roll out the Super Sports Clubs initiative from April next year to inspire Singaporeans to take up a sport or to pursue their sporting aspirations.

-By John Yip

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