To pay tribute to the various stakeholders who have contributed to the campaign of the athletes in their arduous Olympic journey, the Singapore Sailing Federation (SSF) organised the inaugural Olympic Appreciation Night which was held at the National Sailing Centre (NSC) on 28 August 2016.
Attending the event were over 200 officials, administrators, parents, teachers partners and supporters of the sailing community, who played key roles in allowing our sailors to unlock their Olympic dreams of flying the Singapore flag high on the biggest stage of them all. The evening provided an opportunity for our 10 Olympians to acknowledge and show gratitude to the individuals who have assisted, in one way or another, on their Olympic campaign.
Two-time Olympian Colin Cheng, who participated in the Laser Standard and finished 20th out of 46 sailors, shared with the audience the role of his parents and the support he that has been showed to him throughout his Olympic campaign by various individuals.
Griselda Khng, who partnered Sara Tan in the 49er FX in Rio, said, “I am so grateful for my parents who have been extremely understanding towards me in this Olympic journey. Singapore and the sailing committee have really supported me and I would like to thank them for it.”
The Olympians also aimed to inspire the next generation as they presented prizes to the winners of the 2016 Pesta Sukan Regatta.
The Singapore Sailing Federation also took this opportunity to pledge its continuous support for athletes who demonstrate a commitment to the sport on the road to Tokyo 2020.
With the 2016 Rio Olympic Games concluding, the sailors and the federation now turns its attention towards the road to Tokyo 2020 starting with the 2017 South East Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur. Singapore Sailing has already released its selection policy and with 14 sailing events, we are looking to send the maximum 22 athletes that are allowed at the Games.
Beyond this regional event, there is also the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia as a landmark in the four years till the next Olympic Games.
“There were many lessons learnt during these Games,” said Chua Tan Ching, Head of High Performance and Team Manager for the Singapore Sailing Team. “In particular, we have learnt from Joseph Schooling’s parents in their unwavering support of his Olympic endeavors. Looking towards Tokyo 2020, we want to take this cue to engage parents, who plays a major part in an athlete’s life and decision-making, to discuss how we, as a sports federation, can take proactive steps to help and encourage potential and future Olympians to go for glory and fly the flag of Singapore high.”
“We want to be in a committed partnership with parents of sailors to provide tangible assistance where we can.”