Youth with Special Needs Should become Special Needs Athletes
Singapore’s Culture, Community, and Youth Minister Grace Fu called for more individuals with special needs to become Special Needs Athletes, owing to the successful showing of para-athletes at the Asian Games in Jakarta. The Singapore team claimed three gold, two silver, and five bronze medals.
She made these remarks on the sidelines of a victory celebration for Team Singapore at Changi Airport’s Terminal 2. Over 50 friends and family members of the special needs athletes involved gathered in support of the contingent, which scored resounding successes at the Asian Para Games.
Why encourage Special Needs Athletes?
Kelvin Wong, President of the Singapore Disability Sports Council, shares her sentiments.
Wong, who also serves as the Chairman of the Singapore National Paralympic Council, hopes that taking up sports will inspire Singaporeans with disabilities. He assures them of the SDSC‘s support.
Special Needs Athletes: Objectives
Further, Wong hopes that the number of parathletes who take up sports reaches 30000 by 2020. Singapore’s best performance at the Asian Paralympic Games in Incheon, South Korea, was one gold, a silver, and four bronzes.
Minister Fu highlighted the 44-strong contingent as an example of what diligence and perseverance make possible.
She attributes the success of the scheme to the Sports Excellence Scholarship. As of this time, it funds nine Special Needs Athletes and allows them full-time training.
Toh Wei Soong, who won a gold medal in the 50m Freestyle and Yip Pin Xiu, who collected a gold medal in the 50m backstroke, are SpexScholars.
Yip also earned recognition from the World Para Series, which crowned her Best Female Athlete. She is one of only four people to have won the title. The crowning follows her appointment as Nominated Member of Parliament.
Another para-athlete worthy of mention is archer Syahidah Alim, who is now part of the Asian Paralympic Committee’s Athlete’s Committee.
Syahidah shares that her induction into the committee was ‘nerve-racking.’ Organisers introduced her in front of the 3000 athletes who participated in the APG. However, as the committee’s only South-East Asian member she looks forward to her role as the voice of athletes.