In recent times, there were pressures from different quarters to increase support for elite Singapore athletes.

http://www.straitstimes.com/sport/support-for-elite-spore-athletes-will-be-reviewed

I trust that the authorities will look into raising quality and standards of sports from a 50,000 feet high perspective.

They will resolve the roots and not just symptoms of what's preventing us from having more sustainable sports achievements and being on the global sports map.

The support for becoming a world-class sports nation is only as strong as commitment of the last person on the street in offering active buy-in, support, and participation for sports.

Let's take a leaf from nations that have consistently done well in sports, such as Australia which has punched way above its weight in the sports arena.

In such nations, sports is a vital, desired and habitual part of their culture. Even their universities are actively promoting sports and pursuing sports medals as part of their educational system.

To strengthen a culture for sports, health and fitness, starting from the young to the old, we need to adopt a multifunctional, multidisciplinary and multifaceted approach.

A comprehensive, catalytic and self-sustaining ecology should be developed to inspire healthy living and participate in sports.

The sports ecology should foster dedication, determination, discipline, and diligence for excelling in sports and other healthy physical games.

Funding for developing such an ecology cannot be dependent on limited public resources, let alone budget of the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth.

Therefore, we should galvanize, synergise with, and deploy resources from the public, private and people sectors.

We need to develop a roadmap together with key leaders and stakeholders from these sectors to help us to not only become a sporting nation but to also become a sports hub for the region and beyond.

For example, we can do more and do better in promoting intra-company and inter-organisational games and competition.

Besides sending athletes overseas for training, let's explore how we can groom some of these athletes on our shore.

Let's strengthen our model, structure, system and process to help identify, groom, and propel athletes to become leaders in sports and models for our people.

We need to acquire and develop the necessary infrastructure, talents, technologies and other resources to help our athletes stay above the crowd and lead the field.

By turning the tables and working towards being a sports hub, we can attract foreign athletes and sports and sports-related tourists, enterprises, and other organisations to our country.

As a sports hub, it can also help us improve quality and standards of sports, lower expenses, and at the same time further inspire Singaporeans to be fit, strong and healthy.

Dr. Patrick Liew Siow Gian
President
Wrestling Federation of Singapore

Patrickliew77@gmail.com