1. The 10th ASEAN Schools Games (ASG) drew to a close on 26 July in Kuala Lumpur and Shah Alam, Malaysia. Our student-athletes had demonstrated tenacity throughout five days of gruelling competition (21 – 25 July) in the various sports. The 190-strong Singapore Schools contingent won a total of 51 medals – 13 Golds, 16 Silvers, and 22 Bronzes (details in Annex).
2. Mrs Tan Chen Kee, Divisional Director of Student Development Curriculum Division, said: “10 years on, ASG has become a powerful platform for our young athletes to gain exposure, develop their sporting talents and character, and learn more about our ASEAN neighbours. I’m also glad that a strong sense of camaraderie has developed within the ASG community and we have come to a common understanding that the Games are not just about winning, but about coming together to spur one another to greater heights.”
A platform for development of youth sporting talent and character
3. ASG is a natural progression from the National School Games as it provides our student-athletes the opportunity to pit themselves against and learn from the best in the region. On his ASG experience, Jonathan Low, who clinched the Silver medal for Discus said: "It was really an eye-opener for me in terms of learning throwing techniques which has motivated me to do better."
4. The Games are also an excellent platform for student-athletes to develop values such as resilience, leadership, teamwork, and sportsmanship by competing at a regional level. Captain of the volleyball team, Jaime Tan, 17, demonstrated her leadership skills when she galvanised and encouraged her team to give their best during the games. She said: “While everyone has the skills, sometimes we lack confidence. Off the court, it was important for me as the team captain to assure them that they could do it. I told them that if they didn’t try, they would never know what they could achieve.” Danyal Shah Bin Ashren Shah, from the sepak takraw team, shared that even though the team lost, “what mattered is that (they) fought hard, and cheered each other on.”
A platform to encourage friendships through sports
5. In line with this year’s ASG theme – ‘Unity Through Sports’ – the Games also allowed our student-athletes to get to know our ASEAN neighbours better through the common language of sports. Through their frequent interactions both on and off court, and the cultural exchange programmes, our student-athletes learnt about the different cultures in ASEAN and discovered common interests and passions with their peers.
6. Gymnast, Angeline Lin, who took part in ASG for the first time this year, said she made a number of friends such as Kanpicha Patanasak, a fellow gymnast from Thailand. Diane Hilary Pragasam from the track and field team also forged meaningful friendships. She said: “There was a sense of familiarity when I met runners whom I competed against at last year’s ASG, such as Jessel Lumapas from the Philippines. After the race, we exchanged collar pins and intend to stay in touch via social media.”
Support for student-athletes
7. An instrumental part of our student-athletes’ sporting journey was the support and guidance received from various parties, such as schools, coaches, and parents. Ms Linda Khoo, Team Manager of the squash team, shared: “As this was the first time that Squash was featured at ASG, many student-athletes were nervous. We encouraged them to try their best and told them that what mattered most was that they were willing to step forward and try again.”
8. Ms Shereen Wong, coach of the Swimming team, said: “The team had a rich learning experience at the Games. I was encouraged to see that the swimmers saw each race as a learning opportunity to be a better swimmer, no matter what the outcome was.”
9. Mrs Yolande Poong, mother of netballer, Grace Poong, was in Malaysia with her family to lend their fullest support. She also feels that “team sports, like netball, help players develop social skills, and build up their determination and discipline.”
10. At the closing ceremony at Shah Alam’s Ideal Convention Centre, Indonesia’s Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports, Professor Dr Mulyana, took over the baton from Malaysia as they would be hosting the 11th ASEAN Schools Games in 2019. For more information on the 10th ASG, please access: https://www.asg2018.bsukanspmoe.com/.