Petition to DPM Teo Chee Hean to give a special award to Liu Guodong in recognition of his contributions to the Singapore Table Tennis team winning a silver medal in the Beijing Olympics

Ex-Singapore Table Tennis coach won an Olympic Silver medal in the Beijing Olympics games in 2008 for Singapore, but was never recognized for his contributions.

[A petition drive will be held on 6 June 2009 (Sat), 5pm at Hong Lim Park]

We are signing this petition to request Singapore National Olympic Council to give a special award to the ex-coach of the Singapore Table-Tennis Team Mr Liu Guodong in recognition of his achievement in winning a silver medal for Singapore during the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

An Olympic medal is the pinnacle of all sporting achievements and is the most prestigious award that all sportsmen and women can dream of. Some spent their entire lives aiming to win a medal at the Olympics held every four years.

The importance, fame and pride attached to an Olympic medal is why winning athletes and coaches are accorded the highest accolade, honor and rewards everywhere in the world.

Unfortunately in Singapore which prides itself on meritocracy, an Olympic medal winning coach does not even qualified to be nominated for the "Coach of the Year" award which devalues the medal and make a mockery out of the award given out yearly by SNOC.

We feel strongly that Mr Liu Guodong is the only coach who deserves the "Coach of the Year" award for 2009. By not giving out the award this year, SNOC has indicated that it also share the same views as us.

The winner of last year award is Mr Radojko Avramovic and the year before, Mr Zhang Yong Qiang. With due respect to them, none of them won an Olympic medal before. In fact, none of the coaches who won the award since it was inaugurated in 1970 had ever won a medal in the Olympics games.

Singapore has spent millions of dollars on its Foreign Sports Talent Scheme is a scheme used by sports officials and organisations in Singapore to scout, identity and facilitate the migration of non-Singaporeans deemed to possess sports talent to play in Singapore colours in sporting events.

The aim of this scheme is to win medals for Singapore and Mr Liu has achieved this remarkable feat by leading the Singapore Table Tennis team to win a first Olympic silver medal for Singapore as an independent nation.

If winning an Olympic medal does not qualify a coach to win the "Coach of the year" award, what message will we be sending to other foreign coaches who are interested to offer their services in Singapore? Will the best coaches in the world be attracted here knowing that his performance will not be judged by the results he achieved in the sports?

Mr Liu Guodong was appointed coach of the Singapore Table Tennis team in 2006. He worked hard to bring the team up the international rankings which culminated in an Olympic medal.

Feng Tianwei, who played a pivotal role in Singapore's victory over South Korea in the semi-finals of the Beijing Olympics, was talent spotted by Mr Liu while playing in the Japan professional league in 2006.

All these occurred before Ms Lee Bee Wah took over as STTA President in 2008 3 weeks before the team's departure for Beijing.

Without Mr Liu's stewardship, it is unlikely that Singapore will win a medal in the Beijing Olympics. We should express our gratitude and appreciation for his efforts by giving him the coveted "Coach of the year" award.

Since STTA has refused to nominate Mr Liu for the award and SNOC has decided to not to give the award to another less deserving coach, we would like to request SNOC to give a special award to Mr Liu instead.

The SNOC Special Award is only given on two occasions in 2004 to the National Water Polo Teams from 1965 to 2003 for maintaining a 40 year winning streak in the SEA games and in 2005 to swimmer Joscelin Yeo for winning 9 gold medals in the SEA games since 1993.

Mr Liu Guodong had won Singapore numerous medals during his tenure as coach of the Table Tennis team. Based on these achievements, he truly deserves a special award from SNOC.

We implore SNOC to show the world that Singaporeans are appreciative, gracious and magnanimous enough to recognize the immense contributions of ex-coach Liu Guodong even after he has left the team.

For your kind consideration, please.

A group of concerned Singaporeans

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The Petition to DPM Teo Chee Hean to give a special award to Liu Guodong petition to Singaporeans was written by Eugene and is in the category Sports at GoPetition.