Singapore, 8 March 2016 – The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) honoured three Singaporeans today – Mr Tan Howe Liang (83), Dr Tan Eng Liang (79) and Mr Chris Chan (66) for their contribution to the Olympic movement at the IOC Awards Presentation held at Faber Peak Singapore.
The IOC and SNOC also presented the 2015 IOC Trophy “Sport and Innovation” to Sport Singapore’s national movement for sport and physical activity, ActiveSG, for their innovative and effective ways of attracting Singaporeans to sport.
The awards were presented by Guest of Honour Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Minister for Social and Family Development who is also the SNOC President and Mr Ng Ser Miang, IOC Member.
Said Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, “Many successful roles in sport require passion, dedication and largely, a spirit of volunteerism and willingness to do something good for the community. A culture of appreciation and recognition is important to express our gratitude to these unsung heroes and to acknowledge the value of such deeds. The lives of Mr Tan Howe Liang, Dr Tan Eng Liang and Mr Chris Chan espoused deeds which have served our community and created a meaningful impact to the Olympic movement. My heartiest congratulations goes out to them for this special recognition from the IOC.”
Said Mr Ng Ser Miang, “As Singapore celebrated our 50th anniversary last year, we also celebrated and recognised the remarkable role sports have played in our nation building. It gives me great pleasure to present Howe Liang, Eng Liang and Chris with the IOC Diploma of Merit, a revived Olympic award on behalf of the IOC President, Dr Thomas Bach, for their significant contributions to the Olympic movement and sport in Singapore and internationally.”
Mr Tan Howe Liang
Mr Tan Howe Liang brought home a silver medal from the 1960 Rome Olympic Games as Singapore’s first Olympic medalist. His Olympic achievement remained as the only medalist in Singapore’s history for 48 years until the 2008 Olympic Games when the women’s table tennis players won a silver medal. Mr Tan devoted most of his life to sports – not only as an athlete but also as a mentor and coach to younger athletes. He remains a popular role model and household name and continues to inspire Singaporeans today with his story of humility, determination and grit.
Dr Tan Eng Liang
Many in the sports fraternity can attest to Dr Tan Eng Liang’s dedication, integrity, responsibility and passion as a sports administrator. A water polo athlete and Olympian, Dr Tan represented Singapore in the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games.
Eng Liang served as the Chairman of the Singapore Sports Council from 1975 to 1991 and has served the SNOC as Vice President since 1991. His name is synonymous to the SNOC’s Special Training Assistance Committee, a committee that oversees the training and support to athletes and the National Sports Associations preparing for the major Games.
A veteran Chef de Mission, he has led Team Singapore to 12 major Games including the 2015 SEA Games where Team Singapore recorded their best showing with 259 medals, 25 Games Records, 29 National Records and 74 Personal Bests, and the 2008 Olympic Games where Team Singapore won a silver medal. He was also involved in the 2010 Youth Olympic Games as the Chairman of the Advisory Committee for Sports. He is currently the President of the Olympians Singapore, the alumni of Olympians in Singapore.
Mr Chris Chan
Mr Chris Chan has served the SNOC as the Secretary-General since 2002. He has led SNOC to stand out as an efficient and effective organisation among the NOCs worldwide in spite of limited resources. He played a major role in “Project 0812”, a national initiative to medal at the Olympic Games.
Chris also plays active roles at the SEA Games Federation, Commonwealth Games Federation and Olympic Council of Asia. His involvement has helped to safeguard and promote our region’s interests and position on a larger platform.
Chris was also part of the team who delivered a successful Youth Olympic Games in Singapore. He currently serves on the Board of Anti-Doping Singapore, the Singapore Olympic Academy, the Singapore Sports School and the Singapore Olympic Foundation. Prior to the SNOC, Chris served the S-League as the CEO from 1997 to 2002.
2015 IOC Trophy “Sport and Innovation”
Every year since 1985, the IOC honours recipients with a trophy with a specific theme based on current trends. The theme for 2015 is Sport and Innovation. The SNOC reviewed three nominations and awarded the IOC Trophy for Singapore to Sport Singapore’s national movement for sport and physical activity, ActiveSG.
The ActiveSG initiative has so far attracted close to 1 million members. Its innovative method of providing credit to members to take part in sport programmes and activities and book sport facilities has proven to be a hit among Singaporeans. With increasing mobile usage in Singapore, ActiveSG introduced a mobile application to connect with their members. So far more than 600,000 members have utilised the credits and more than 100,000 members have participated in ActiveSG activities.
The other two nominees were the Singapore Sports School (SSP) and the Singapore Sports Institute (SSI). The SSP’s flexible and extended International Baccalaureate (IB) programme allows student-athletes the extra time and space to compete and complete the IB Diploma within existing guidelines. Knowing that young high performance athletes require greater volume of training, the Sports School worked with the IB Organisation to provide student-athletes the opportunity to gain a flexible, internationally recognised education while advancing their sporting careers.
The Singapore Sports Institute’s (SSI) Altitude House – one of the many capabilities at the new SSI premises is the ability to simulate altitude or a hypoxic environment in our tropical climate. The SSIAltitude House is a custom-built facility designed for live-in purpose which simulates an environment of up to 5,000m above sea level. Going to the real mountains is often out of reach to our athletes, hence the SSI has brought the mountains to the tropics. The Altitude House is an ideal setup to allow elite athletes to benefit from living in a hypoxic environment whilst minimising the disruption to their daily work and academic commitments.