20 August 2010

MOU between JOC and SNOC

S'pore-Japan sports exchange@Staits Times

SINGAPORE athletes and coaches can look forward to exchange programmes in Japan over the next four years, after the signing of an agreement between the two countries' National Olympic Committees yesterday.

Deputy Prime Minister and Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) president Teo Chee Hean and Japanese Olympic Committee president Tsunekazu Takeda signed the document in a ceremony at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel yesterday.

Mr Teo noted that Japan has achieved numerous sporting successes, and has also organised international meets.

'Japan is one of the powerhouses in sports and in Asia as well,' he said.

Japan has won Olympic medals in a diversity of sports, including judo, gymnastics, wrestling, swimming, athletics and volleyball.

Mr Teo added in his speech: 'There's much that we can learn from you; our national sports federations can learn from your national sports federations.

'Our SNOC can learn from you in a variety of ways, in terms of preparation for Games, training and helping our athletes compete, and even in terms of administration and marketing.'

The partnership covers sharing of information, promoting athlete, official and coach exchanges, and exchange of sports science and anti-doping activities.

The recently completed National Training Centre in Tokyo will host Singaporeans once individual national sports associations firm up their plans on who to send.

Mr Takeda said he hopes his athletes can learn from Singapore's sailors and table tennis players, who have achieved global success in recent years.

Meanwhile, Mr Teo said he was delighted with several aspects of the ongoing Youth Olympic Games, including the volunteers' efforts and Singapore athletes' performances.

The Republic has two bronzes (taekwondo), one mixed-team bronze (archery) and one silver (swimming) so far.

'Quite frankly, we were not quite sure what to expect and they have exceeded our expectations,' he said.

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