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A total of 606 students from 87 schools were presented the National Schools Colours Award at the 43rd Singapore Schools Sports Council (SSSC) National Colours Award Presentation and National School Games Closing Ceremony today. Of these, 152 students received the National Schools Colours Award for representing Singapore Schools at the ASEAN Schools Games (ASG).
Another 1268 students were also presented with the Zone Colours Award.
The National and Zone Schools Colours Awards recognise students for their contributions in representing the Singapore Schools Team, and achievements in sports and games within the SSSC Sporting Calendar, at various levels.SSSC Overall Best School Boy and Overall Best School Girl Award
This year, the SSSC Overall Best School Boy Award was awarded to Loh Jia Yi, from Raffles Institution for Sailing. The SSSC Overall Best School Girl Award was awarded to Han Jing Bertha, from Raffles Girls School (Secondary), also for Sailing. Both students had won the overall individual title at the Optimist World Championships at Fraglia Vela Riva in Lake Garda, Italy in July this year.
The Overall Best School Boy and Overall Best School Girl award recipients were selected from the Best School Boy awardees in 19 Sports, and the Best School Girl awardees in 18 sports. These student athletes had attained exceptional sporting achievements, and demonstrated exemplary conduct on and off the field. The list of Best School Boy/Girl award recipients are listed in Annex A.SSSC Best Team Award
The SSSC Best Team Award was awarded to the combined Boys and Girls Sailing Team for emerging as team champion at the Optimist World Team Racing at Fraglia Vela Riva in Lake Garda, Italy. The list of members of the team can be found in Annex B.National School Games
The 2013 National School Games (NSG), which was declared opened by the Minister for Education, on 1st February at the Jurong East Sports & Cultural Centre. The NSG has reached out to over 50,000 students which encompassed 28 sports for SSSC and 21 sports for SPSSC1. In conjunction with the National Colours Award presentation, the 2013 NSG was brought to a close with the extinguishing of the Games’ virtual flame.
- Singapore Primary Schools Sports Council↩
Good evening. It gives me great pleasure to join you today to celebrate 27 years of the Plain English Speaking Awards.
Plain Speaking is essentially about one thing — that whatever you are saying, the person who is listening fully understands what you are trying to say. This sounds simple enough — but consider for a moment. Have you ever listened — or perhaps pretended to listen — to a colleague, or even a guest-of-honour, whilst you were sitting there smiling politely, and what is really going through your mind is, “what on earth is this person talking about?” Or perhaps, you do understand but you find it so dull and uninteresting, you are only thinking about one thing, which is how long it would be before the person finishes.
Or you may be able to recall an occasion when a speaker deeply offended you but carried on blissfully unaware that you were sitting there, seething with outrage. Alternatively, a speaker may have been so polite and deferential that you really had no idea what he or she was trying to say. Worst of all, you may recall an occasion when a speaker cracked a joke — and nobody laughed. When this happens, there is usually a second or two of painful silence, until some kind soul puts everyone out of their misery by giving a charitable, if insincere, chuckle.
Let me put the shoe on the other foot. Have you ever spoken to somebody who smiles at you politely, but if you look into their eyes, nobody is really at home. This seemingly attentive listener has either stopped listening, or does not understand you, or both. Or perhaps, someone enthusiastically agrees with you and then makes a comment which shows you have been completely misunderstood. Or you suddenly realise you have offended somebody and have absolutely no idea why. Plainly, plain speaking is not as easy as it may first seem.
Both employers and educators emphasise the importance of effective communication as a key 21st century competency. This is an essential tenet of our curriculum. Yet it is the everyday, routine importance of effective communication as plain speaking that I wish to emphasise today.
What you say and how you say it, play a very large part in determining how others perceive you. If you are perceived as one who has something useful to say — people will stop and listen. If you are perceived as sincere — people will respect your views. If you are perceived as engaging and interesting — people will enjoy listening to you. If you are perceived as polite and considerate, people will be open-minded in listening to what you have to say. This holds equally true in the auditorium, in the working world, in the classroom, among friends, and at home.
A word on technology: the internet and social media have irrevocably changed our lives and the way we interact with others. Walk down any busy road these days and you must negotiate pedestrians hunched over their smart phones, texting furiously and seemingly unaware that there are others who must navigate around their self-absorbed indifference to their fellow pedestrians. This is a phenomenon which is not going to go away; in fact, it is set to increase — particularly with the advent of such technologies as Google glasses. There is something deeply disturbing about a world where people are so enthralled with communication technology that they lose, not only the ability to communicate with others around them, but even the awareness of the presence of others. The pervasiveness of communication technology is a powerful reason as to why we must constantly champion real person-to-person communication, and plain speaking — they embody a fundamental communal humanity.
In short, if we consider how we respond to how others speak, we can learn a great deal about speaking plainly and the challenges it poses. We should also possess the self-awareness and humility to be aware of our own shortcomings in the way we speak to others and seek to address them. For plain speaking is not a merely a matter for the classroom or a corporate boardroom, it is a fundamental life-skill and an essential part of what it is to be human. Plain speaking also boils down to some very simple traits; know want you want to say, say it well, say it with consideration for those to whom you are speaking, and say it with sincerity.
So to all the award winners, my congratulations and my thanks for providing us with such an entertaining evening. Never forget the real value of plain speaking, which is not in entertaining an audience nor in competition, but in our everyday interaction with others.
This is why all the participants of PESA have benefitted. Every participant has learnt more about what plain speaking and effective communication entails. I hope you will all continue to learn and develop the ability to speak plainly and well.
Finally, my thanks to Mr. Stephen Loh, President, YMCA of Singapore and the YMCA committee for their work in organising the Plain English Speaking Awards. The competition not only remains relevant but is an integral part of our efforts to ensure that our young develop as effective communicators and speakers of Plain English.
Congratulations once again, not only to the winners, but all the participants, because you all have come away with something from the competition.