The table tennis team has done Singapore proud by winning 4 gold medals at the Commonwealth. Our sports officials are jubilant. The Straits Times sports editor declares “This is a vindication of the Foreign Sports Talent scheme”.
Nowadays, I don’t follow the sports news very closely. But, recent events in Melbourne have attracted my interest. Especially, I note the dismal performance of the Netball team in comparison with the peddlers. So I would like to share some thoughts. But it’s personal and should not be taken too seriously as I haven’t been following the debate about the FSTS closely.
I don’t like to pour cold water, but I must confess I have not been terribly excited by the excellent performance of the table tennis team because I understand a large number of them are not native Singaporeans. I must admit I could be behind time in this aspect.
Anyway, out of curiosity, I casually asked my family members what they thought of the FSTS, and these are their views.
1) My Kayaker Son. (He is captain of the ACS (I) kayaking team and fighting fish enthusiast)
He thinks that if the foreign athletes were brought in when they were still of school-going age, and educated in our schools, then it was alright. Otherwise, it would be like going to Thailand to buy the best fight fishes and entering them in a local competition and winning all the top prizes – it would not be very fair. If you bought the good quality fish fries and raised them up yourself then it is still acceptable.
2) My youngest daughter who hates sports. She thinks it’s alright. “After all Singapore likes to win wat”.
3) My teacher wife.
But then what about the local athletes like your kor-kor (elder brother). They train so hard and make many sacrifices to reach the top. What if the government says, our kayakers simply have no hope to compete against the Australians. Let’s bring in some foreign talents to represent Singapore. Wouldn’t that be very cruel to our own Singaporeans?
Incidentally, I am also somewhat puzzled by the remarks of one sport official who was interviewed on television last night. He said something to this effect. “Nowadays, our athletes are more competitive and compete to win.”
I find myself asking; “You mean the previous athletes like Patricia Chan and Water Polo teams were not ‘competitive’?”
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