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     FrontPage Edition: Sun 24 July 2005

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Easier to enter the Sports School from 2006



"Like its athletes, the Sports School constantly challenges itself in the pursuit of excellence. In the past one and a half years, Mr Moo and his team have created more opportunities to nurture young, talented athletes with innovative linkages with the Nanyang Technological University, Republic Polytechnic, Innova Junior College, Christchurch Secondary, and Auckland University of Technology.
"These changes are designed to give our sportsmen more choices and opportunities in the future. Pursuant to this, I am glad to announce further policy changes affecting the Sports School today.
"(a) First, the Sports School will admit all students with high sporting potential regardless of their academic ability. This will take effect from 2006.
"(b) Second, the doors will also be open to promising athletes who do not practise the current eight sports offered by the school but wish to reside and learn within its premises. This will further deepen the athlete network, and allow the School to grow into a ¡°True Sports School¡±.
"(c) Third, we have aligned the foreign student quota for the Sports School with that of mainstream MOE schools. Going forward, foreign students can take up to 20% of the places in the Sports School. Those admitted must satisfy the same criteria of high sporting potential as a local student. But Singaporeans will be given priority. No Singaporean student with high sporting potential will be deprived of a place at the Sports School.
"(d) Fourth, it is our intention for young foreign athletes currently training with our National Sports Associations (or NSAs) to be offered accommodation, education and training at the Sports School. The Singapore Badminton Association and the Singapore Table Tennis Association will be among the first NSAs to take up this scheme. Foreign students add to the diversity of a school and help build up a culture of sporting excellence. They also make strong sparring partners for our local student athletes. These young foreign athletes, who are likely to become citizens and join our national team, will also have an opportunity to integrate with their Singaporean peers and build life-long friendships at the School.
"These are significant developments not just for the School and its students, but for our overall education landscape.
"The Sports School will allow talented athletes to reach the pinnacle of their sporting potential. At the same time, the unique and valuable experience of competitive sports at the highest levels will nurture well-rounded young individuals.
"Developing character and deriving a sense of purpose in life are important. Our local tertiary institutions recognise this as well. Republic Polytechnic and Nanyang Technological University are therefore prepared to accept Sports School students, waiving ¡®O¡¯ and ¡®A¡¯ level requirements respectively."

Full Text of Speech

Source: Media Release 23 Jul 2005

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