SINGAPORE — In his final parliamentary session as a nominated member of parliament, Mark Chay expressed his support for the Workers’ Party motion on Singapore’s sporting success. He underscored the vital role that sports play in shaping a nation’s identity and fostering unity.
Additionally, Chay highlighted the importance of prioritizing athletes’ mental well-being and outlined three key areas to focus on: improving access to facilities, examining the impact of national service, and extending the realm of competitive sports beyond school years. His speech left no doubt about his commitment to championing the development of Singapore’s sporting landscape.
The motion for sporting success was brought to the House by Workers’ Party members of parliament Prof Jamus Lim (Sengkang GRC) and Faisal Manap (Aljunied GRC), which calls for parliament to celebrate the accomplishments of Team Singapore athletes and para-athletes at the 32nd SEA Games and the 12th ASEAN Para Games in Cambodia and calls on the government to undertake a thorough evaluation of the areas of improvement in Singapore’s sporting ecosystem and commit to realising clear, achievable goals for sporting success over the coming decade.
During the parliamentary session to debate the motion, NMP Chay expressed his concern: “The demands of the athletes have also increased, and pressure remained, and athletes who remain longer in the sports have increased. Which is why I believe more needs to be done for the mental well-being of the athletes.”
“Sports has the power to bring people together, promoting unity and understanding across cultures and national boundaries. They provide a common ground where people can connect and share in the joy of competition and achievement, fostering friendship and goodwill among individuals and nations alike. Through sports, Singapore can push ourselves to new levels of achievement and inspire others to do the same, building a brighter future for us and generations to come,” added Chay, the president of Singapore Aquatics.
Chay also engaged in a detailed discussion about the high-performance programs of Singapore Aquatics and their crucial role in training national teams across various disciplines such as swimming, diving, artistic swimming, open water swimming, and water polo.
“Sports is more than just a game. It is a powerful force that can shape a nation’s identity, unite its people, and even transform the world. Sporting achievements matter to a nation because they go beyond mere athletic prowess; they embody the values, aspirations, and spirit of a people,” added the former national swimmer.
“Whether it is the roar of a stadium packed with loyal fans or the sight of a national team standing proudly on the podium, sporting events have the power to bring a nation to life in ways that few other things can.”
At the 32nd SEA Games, Team Singapore athletes had an impressive showing, bringing home 51 gold, 43 silver, and 64 bronze medals. They also achieved remarkable feats by setting eight new Games records, 17 national records, and attaining 40 personal best performances in Cambodia. The swimming contingent’s impressive performance was particularly noteworthy, as they showcased their dominance in the pool and contributed a significant portion of the medal haul with 47 medals – 22 gold, 15 silver, and 10 bronze.