Monday 20 April 2015

SNOC launches collection of 50 sports stories for SG50

By Abhishek Ravikrishnan, Channel NewsAsia, 18 Apr 2015

The Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) commemorated 50 of Singapore’s most inspiring sports stories with the launch of a book titled 50est: Stirring Stories For The Singapore Soul on Friday (Apr 17).

The book and its accompanying photo exhibition - which happens through August - were launched by Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Minister for Manpower, Minister for Social and Family Development and President of the Singapore National Olympic Council, at the Sports Hub Library.

The stories in the 204-page book celebrate the human spirit capturing the “grittiest, the boldest and the toughest” beyond the sporting feats, said SNOC in a media release.

The book contains 50 profiles of pioneer sporting champions, as well as national athletes and teams. The profiles vary from representatives in athletics to contract bridge and squash.

Mr Chris Chan, Secretary-General of the SNOC, said: “This collection represents just a fraction of many other inspiring stories of our athletes’ endeavours, many of which are still waiting to be told. The SNOC is pleased to play the role of sharing some of these stories to the public.”

“The publication of this book is timely to commemorate Singapore’s 50th anniversary as these stories are testament to the progress we have made as a nation, not just in sports but also in building a nation,” he added.

Former national water polo player and fin swimmer, Mr Lim Yao Xiang, is one individual who shared his setbacks and journey in the book, said SNOC. Although he failed to make the cut to get into the SEA Games swim team, he switched to fin swimming and won a gold medal in the 2003 SEA Games. He also earned a spot in the men's water polo team in his second attempt at SEA Games.

Another athlete featured in the book is national hurdler Dipna Lim Prasad, who expressed confidence at the launch that her event – the 400m hurdles - would take place at the 2015 SEA Games in June. This comes after reports that some events, including shot put and floorball, may be dropped due to the lack of participating countries.

She said: "I'm quite confident that the hurdles will still stay in the schedule. My association, Singapore Athletics, has reached out to our friends in neighbouring countries. So I'm confident our networks will pull through and we will all run a good race together."

The book’s editorial team was led by Mr Chua Chong Jin, a former journalist who currently teaches at the Nanyang Business School and runs a communications consultancy. SNOC adds that principal photographer Mr Danny Toh, an art educator by profession, captured the “true essence of the athletes” in black and white images, a selection of which will be displayed in a photo exhibition at the Sports Hub Library till August.

The SNOC will be distributing the books to libraries in primary and secondary schools through Civica, who manages Ministry of Education libraries as well as the Sports Hub Library.

Copies of the book will also be distributed to other organisations and institutions such as the Institutes of Higher Learning, National Sports Associations and National Library Board.

While the book is not for sale, the stories and photos will be available for the public to access via the website, An electronic copy of the book will be also available for download on the website.

The Sports Hub Library and Civica, the official venue partners, will also be organising a meet and greet session on Apr 18 for members of the public to personally listen to the stories Singapore athletes like Lim Heem Wei, Lee Wung Yew, Mok Ying Ren, Sasha Christian and Lim Yao Xiang.

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