Sports safety: Onus also on participants

Sports safety: Onus also on participants
FIRM BACKING: StanChart yesterday renewed its sponsorship of the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore. (Above) The flag-off for last year's event.

SINGAPORE - Senior sports officials here are urging individuals to take responsibility for their own safety during mass-participation sports events.

Mr Lim Teck Yin, chief executive officer of Sport Singapore, formerly known as the Singapore Sports Council, said that it is "of critical importance" and "imperative" for participants to be educated on what the best practices on sporting safety are, and not to push themselves beyond their limit.

He made the comments yesterday on the sidelines of the announcement of Standard Chartered Bank's renewal of its sponsorship for the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore.

The new three-year deal is worth $10.5 million, an increase of $750,000 over the previous one, and will see Sport Singapore and event organiser Spectrum Worldwide run the event till 2016.

There have been several deaths related to endurance events in recent years.

Most recently, full-time national serviceman Chia Wee Kiak, 24, died earlier this month from head injuries he suffered at the OCBC Cycle Singapore.

Last month, 45-year-old runner Martynn Koh collapsed during the 2XU Compression Run and died in hospital.

Mr Lim told My Paper that Sport Singapore is looking at the idea of a planning guide for event owners, if they feel it will be useful in terms of promoting safety.

But he insisted: "Safety, first and foremost, must be an individual responsibility... Any sports event requires individuals to take responsibility. That's what's ultimately going to make the difference.

"Many organisers already have (safety) workshops. It's whether people want to come on board... Even if it is compulsory, it is not something that is as obvious as wearing a helmet."

Acting Minister for Manpower Tan Chuan-Jin, who was the guest of honour at the event, agreed: "Clearly, there are always things that (the organisers) can do better. But there is also the individual part. There are two parts to that - one is education... The other one is to know yourself. A lot of it is just about not to push yourself beyond limits."

Mr Tan, who is also an executive committee member of the Singapore National Olympic Council, added: "With every activity, there is always a risk. It's all about risk management and that's something that organisers need to pay attention to but individuals also need to play a part."

Mr Chris Robb, managing director of Spectrum Worldwide, which organises the OCBC Cycle Singapore and the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore, noted: "We always review our safety measures after every event... It's a standard procedure."

Registration for this year's Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore is slated to open in July.

New routes may be considered, with the Singapore Sports Hub possibly being part of it, said the organisers. More details will be given in the coming weeks.

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