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IN FOCUS: Disabled sports and the pursuit of excellence and equality in Singapore

This feeling was confirmed by Ang Kee Meng, the healthy rider of cyclist Steve Tee. Ang and Tee competed in Tokyo and set two personal bests at one of the events.

“In Singapore in particular, corporate sponsors don’t see ROI (return on investment) because… Singapore doesn’t have the culture of sports sponsorship,” he noted.

“Our culture is very performance-oriented. So you You have to have some merit before people will really recognize you. Even go to the major At games like (the) Olympics and Paralympic Games, people could just see, ‘Oh, these are people who are just taking part’. But actually standing on the podium is a different ball game. “

However, Ang hopes this will change after Tokyo 2020.

“The main reason is that they can’t commit because it is difficult for them to see an ROI or something else, because there is not enough traction in this and that in parasports. But I think with Tokyo and COVID-19, because people can’t travel, they’re all sticking to screens, ”he explained.

“That’s a good thing because the coverage of the Tokyo Olympics was so good that a lot of people actually knew that parasports in Singapore were out there and doing great things. So I think it’s a good lever for me to talk to the sponsors as well. “

THE PRESSURE FOR EQUALITY

The integration of disabled sports into the Mainstream National Sports Associations (NSAs) is another step that SDSC intends to take in the future.

To date, two NSAs – Fencing Singapore and the Equestrian Federation of Singapore – are members of the SDSC and have pledged to include disabled sports in their programs, Fan noted.

“Right now you can see the NSAs actually evolving, saying that they are getting better educated and that inclusion is something they are considering,” she said.

“It will take time for the system to change, but we see it as a long-term plan that also shows that Singapore is improving, evolving.”

At the same time, this must be a process that is carefully initiated, she noted.

This integration is a step that Yip has also advocated. But she also urged caution.

“It is not as easy as it seems, because at the end of the day there is of course the dream scenario in which you take up disabled sports and treat disabled sports as you treat all other sports under your arm. This is the dream scenario, but I think it is important that you guide yourself at the beginning so that we… protect the interests of disabled sports, ”she said.

“Finally, when we know that they are ready, that they are ready, and that they see meaning in it, then they can take it entirely. You have to be able and you have to be ready … you have to want to, and we hope that day comes sooner rather than later. “

Discussions about equality between people have also been raging across the online arena lately – particularly the inequality between the Major Games Award Program (MAP) cash rewards for able athletes and the AAA for para-athletes.

In a speech in parliament earlier this week, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong announced that efforts are being made to increase cash rewards for para-athletes at major games.

Mr. Tong stated that since the inception of MAP and AAA, the awards have been fully funded by private sponsors. The difference in cash prizes does not reflect how the government values ​​fit athletes and para-athletes, he said.

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