Hockey: Time to rebuild Singapore's prowess

Hockey: Time to rebuild Singapore's prowess
DPM Tharman Shanmugaratnam meeting with the Republic's hockey men at the close of the World League Round 2 tourney at the Sengkang Stadium.

SINGAPORE - That's DPM Tharman's challenge to Singapore hockey.

Malaysia showed why they are deserving winners of the World League Round 2 (WLR2) hockey tournament, when they routed Poland 8-0 in the final at Sengkang Stadium yesterday.

Even Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam - the Guest of Honour at the final - was impressed with what he saw.

"The Malaysians played exceptionally well... they are fit, their team work was good, and they took their chances very well," Mr Tharman told The New Paper.

HOPEFUL

"Singapore can host world-class events in hockey and, I hope that in time to come, the Singapore teams themselves will feature prominently."

The Republic's men's hockey team, ranked 37th in the world and 24 spots behind Malaysia, finished seventh out of eight teams, registering only one win - a 4-3 victory over Mexico in the 7th/8th classification match yesterday.

Mr Tharman challenged the Republic's men's and women's teams to narrow the gap on Causeway rivals Malaysia.

"Hockey used to be a very strong game in Singapore, in the '50s and '60s... and it is time to start rebuilding Singapore's prowess in hockey - there's no reason we can't get back there," he said.

"If the Malaysians can do it, so can we - with coaching, determination, and starting from primary schools and working our way up."

Singapore can host world-class events in hockey and, I hope that in time to come, the Singapore teams themselves will feature prominently.

- Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam


This article was first published on Jan 26, 2015.
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