Singapore, August 14, 2020: Come July and August every year, a sporting fever hits Singapore as thousands of youth eager to showcase their athletic talents throng into stadiums and sports halls to join the Singapore Youth Olympic Festival.
The festival is not only an annual multi-sport event but also a celebration of the inaugural Youth Olympic Games hosted by the country a decade ago.
The focus of the festival is cultivating friendships and education as opposed to winning medals – and it’s all part of the YOG legacy.
The Singapore Olympic Foundation is dedicated to preserving this YOG legacy and is led by IOC Vice President and OCA Executive Board member Ng Ser Miang as Chairman.
“The YOG’s legacy still remains strong in Singapore,” he says. “So many people have benefitted, and it has propelled Singapore to the world stage.”
Sports such as wrestling and handball are thriving in Singapore as a result of the YOG 10 years ago, while the Singapore Olympic Foundation-Peter Lim scholarship has helped more than 2,900 student-athletes achieve their sporting dreams after tycoon Peter Lim made a S$10 million donation to set it up in 2010.
“I thought that it would be a great idea to institutionalise the legacy of the YOG,” said Mr Ng. “With the setting up of the SOF, it has enabled us to continue with the celebration of the YOG every year and support thousands of young athletes from different backgrounds.”
The most famous recipient of the scholarship? Singapore’s first Olympic Games champion – Joseph Schooling in the men’s 100m butterfly at Rio 2016!
Other legacies include a burgeoning volunteer group that began with the so-called “Purple Army” at Singapore 2010 and now has 5,000 active members, the Youth Olympic Park, Olympic Walk and the “Singapore Spirit” hailed by former IOC President Jacques Rogge.
Mr. Ng concluded: “As we mark 10 years of the YOG, I believe this is the spirit that we want to build on – one of coming together and conquering difficulties. We will need to make use of every opportunity and event to continue promoting this spirit.”
By Justin Kor, Singapore National Olympic Council