1. The 11th ASEAN Schools Games (ASG) drew to a close on 24 July in Semarang, Indonesia. Our student-athletes demonstrated resilience, tenacity and sportsmanship, as they strove for sporting excellence during the five-day competition from 19 to 23 July. In total, the 170-strong Singapore Schools contingent won 38 medals – 10 Golds, 11 Silvers, and 17 Bronzes (details in Annex).
2. Mr Tony Low, Chairman of the Singapore School Sports Council, said: “Sports is a universal language which connects people from different backgrounds. The annual ASG has become an excellent platform for our students to sharpen their skills by pitting themselves against the best in the region. Beyond winning medals, I hope the experience has also allowed our students to forge meaningful friendships and develop important values that will stay with them for life. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our gracious Semarang hosts for their warm hospitality.”
A platform for character and values development
3. A high-level competition like ASG often brings out the best in our student-athletes, as they learn to work together with peers from other schools to collectively represent Singapore at a regional level.
4. For Lim Dao Yi, 16, ASG has allowed him to hone his leadership skills as captain of the boys’ Table Tennis team. “Applying what I’ve learned from past captains, I encouraged my team to always have one another’s back and to play confidently. Whether we win or lose, it doesn’t matter. What’s more important is that we do our best,” said the Raffles Institution student.
5. Other students appreciated the theme of this year’s ASG – Unity, Spirit, & Respect. Tennis player Adithya Suresh, 14, said: “I really identified with this year’s ASG theme. I experienced unity when my team cheered me on during my match and felt the spirit of the Games when I persevered in the face of adversity. I also had a lot of respect for my competitors who played with sportsmanship.”
Forging friendships with ASEAN neighbours
6. Through interactions both in and out of the sporting arena, our student-athletes got to know their ASEAN neighbours better. The cultural exchange programmes also gave them an insight into the unique cultures within the region, and allowed them to discover commonalities that they shared with their peers.
7. Hurdler Elizabeth-Ann Tan, 15, whose participation in the ASG this year would make it her fourth time, shared that the highlight for her was making friends with student-athletes from around the region. “I was so happy to be able to reconnect with some of the friends that I’ve made over the years while participating in ASG,” said the Nanyang Girls’ High School student. Elizabeth-Ann had also served as an ambassador during the 9th ASG in Singapore, where she gladly brought Malaysian student-athletes around the city.
8. During the games, it was also not uncommon to see our student-athletes cheering for teams of other countries. Ms Mariette Ong, coach of the Swimming team, said: “I was very heartened to see the team cheer not only for our own country, but for student-athletes from other countries as well. I think it’s important to encourage one another, no matter which country you’re from. That’s one of the wonderful things about coming to ASG - to meet people from around the region and build friendships through sports.”
A community of support for our student-athletes
9. An instrumental part of our student-athletes’ sporting journey was also the support and guidance they received from their families, peers, coaches, and team managers.
10. Mr Liew Wei Sheng, Team Manager of the Table Tennis team, shared: “The team this year is actually quite young, so I try to support the team’s well-being and make sure everything is looked after so that they can concentrate on doing their best during the competition. I also always remind the team of the lessons they’ve learned during their training and the bonding camp, including the importance of mental preparation.”
11. Mr Edwin Tong, father of ASG debutant and Tennis player Audrey Tong, was in Indonesia to lend his support to the team. He said: “I’m here to give my fullest support to Audrey and also to the Singapore team. I hope the experience will help them build camaraderie with one another and provide them valuable learning opportunities.”
12. Mrs Carolyn Kong, mother of high jumper Kampton Kam, was also in Indonesia with her husband to support their son in his third ASG. She said: “Kampton is a driven person who sets his own goals and naturally has a lot of drive. What we as parents can do is to be there for him, and to encourage him if he’s down."
13. At the ASG Closing Ceremony at the Borobudur Temple in Central Java, the Philippines took over the baton from Indonesia to host the 12th ASG in 2020. For more information on the recently concluded 11th ASG, please visit: http://www.inaasg2019.com/asg/.