Singapore will be represented by an all-female trio of flag bearers at the SEA Games and inaugural Special Olympics Asia Pacific Games next month, as well as the Asean Para Games in January.
Get the full story from The Straits Times.
Here is the full media statement:
FIRST EVER TRI-CONTINGENT CEREMONY KICKS OFF TEAM SINGAPORE MAJOR GAMES JOURNEY
Singapore, 18 November 2013 - Close to 500 Team Singapore athletes and officials gathered at a flag presentation ceremony today to kick off their journey at the 1st Special Olympics Asia Pacific Games, 27th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and 7th ASEAN Para Games taking place between December 2013 and January 2014.
This is the first time a combined flag presentation ceremony is being held for the athletes of the three major Games.
Mr Lawrence Wong, Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, said: "I would like to congratulate all our athletes who will be flying our flag overseas. Whether you are headed for the Special Olympics Asia Pacific Games, SEA Games or ASEAN Para Games, all of you have in your own ways, inspired and motivated Singaporeans to live better through sports - through values like a winning spirit; an appreciation for teamwork; and a commitment to purpose. I hope you will continue to be a source of pride and hope for the nation, and for all Singaporeans."
Deputy Prime Minister and President of Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC), Mr Teo Chee Hean, as well as Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Acting Minister for Manpower and Executive Committee Member of SNOC, joined Mr Wong to present the Singapore flags as a symbol of honour to an all-female trio of flag bearers for the respective Games.
1st Special Olympics Asia Pacific Games
Opening the Games season is the inaugural Special Olympics Asia Pacific Games, which will take place in Newcastle, Australia from 1 to 7 December. Singapore will be fielding a contingent of 19 athletes to compete in 5 sports, led by Chef De Mission (CDM) Ms Linda Prebhash.
Commenting on the growing sports movement, Ms Prebhash said: "This year marks a milestone for our Special Olympics athletes who will embark on the first ever Special Olympics 2013 Asia Pacific Games, which aims to transform the lives of people with intellectual disabilities.
In a true testament that sport embraces all abilities, this is an excellent platform for our athletes to share their love for sports, celebrate their skills and abilities, build their self-confidence and develop social skills.
" I am glad that there are now more opportunities for Special Olympics athletes from the region to interact with each other at the sporting level. This unified flag presentation ceremony also fosters inclusion amongst our athletes, and gives them an opportunity to get to know other Team Singapore athletes and be inspired. We are very proud of them and wish them all the very best!"
27th SEA Games and 7th ASEAN Para Games
Next in the line-up is the 27th SEA Games, held in Naypyidaw, Myanmar from 11 to 22 December. Some 310 athletes will represent Singapore in 25 sports at the Games, led by CDM Ms Annabel Pennefather.
In this edition, the equestrian and hockey teams are making a comeback after their absence at two consecutive SEA Games.
"The SEA Games has a long tradition of providing an invaluable platform for the biggest number of our Team Singapore athletes to compete in a major multi-sport Games.
Our athletes have trained hard and I am sure we can expect them to give their 100% in Myanmar to deliver performances that will provide not just cause for cheer but also a useful gauge for future Games. I hope that Singaporeans will get behind our athletes to inspire and be inspired by them," said CDM Ms Pennefather.
Closing the Games season is the 7th ASEAN Para Games, also held in Naypyidaw, Myanmar from 11 to 21 January 2014.
Set to continue the international and regional success seen at the various Para Games thus far, Singapore will be sending a team of 60 athletes across 6 sports, headed by CDM Mr Justinian Chua.
They include seasoned athletes like swimmer Yip Pin Xiu, and the football team that will be competing for the very first time in the ASEAN Para Games.
CDM Mr Chua said: "The athletes have proven their mettle at previous Games, even at a global level. We look forward to them building on their good performance thus far, with the encouragement and support of all Singaporeans."
Together We Are Stronger
In the spirit of "Together We Are Stronger" - an ongoing nationwide campaign to call on Singaporeans to come together as one Team Singapore to support our national athletes - the Guests-of-Honour, Team Singapore contingents and guests also came together to put in a collective photo pledge.
The photo pledge is part of the campaign's 'Join #ourteamsg' movement, where Singaporeans are able to put a face to their well wishes for the very first time through the submission of photo pledges, via a dedicated microsite and popular social media channels such as Instagram.
ASEAN Para Games flag bearer Nurulasyiqah Taha said: "I felt encouraged going through the well wishes submitted. My heart swelled reading the words of encouragement, especially from people I don't personally know. This is truly the essence of the Singapore spirit - Singaporeans cheering each other on!"
Members of the public may log on to www.ourteamsg.com to submit their well wishes with their photo pledges or learn about the encouraging stories between Team Singapore athletes and their team of supporters.