The Singapore Armed Forces should be applauded for setting up the Music and Drama Company in 1973, with the aim of entertaining and educating soldiers on the importance of national duty ("SAF unit still entertaining after 40 years"; last Friday).
In so doing, the unit also provided a platform for Singapore's aspiring entertainers to hone their performing skills.
Many of our well-known artists have credited it with being a launch pad for their performing careers. This would not have been possible if they had been deployed in a "normal" unit to serve their national service.
This begs the question of why a similar unit cannot be set up for our athletes.
Such a unit will enable them to focus on developing their skills during their two years of national service. They would be available for training and to participate in competitions during the prime of their sporting lives.
In order for them to give back to the nation, they can be assigned to schools or to the relevant national sports associations to conduct clinics or training sessions.
Who knows, we could have Singapore Olympians of the future crediting the SAF for being a launch pad for their sporting careers.
Peter Teo Boon Haw
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