12 November 2014
Citizens’ unreceptiveness towards foreign-born athletes carrying the Singapore flag in international competitions could perhaps be mitigated or even eradicated if immigrant athletes can integrate into Singapore society and express their loyalty to the country.
Like its fellow first world countries, Singapore has the means and resources to import promising athletes to ensure and maintain sporting success. However, compared to counterparts in the developed world, it appears Singapore society is still facing challenges to the acceptance of immigrant athletes.
Some Singaporeans have been vocal about their aversion to the Foreign Sports Talent (FST) Scheme, with a significant number of citizens expressing their sentiments online concerning the absence of pride when foreign-born athletes representing Singapore win medals at international competitions. However, the public’s reaction towards the recent retirement of Yugoslavian-born Singaporean footballer Aleksandar Duric indicates it is possible for citizens to appreciate and embrace immigrant athletes if such athletes undergo a traditional process of acquiring citizenship as well as display signs of being part of the social fabric.
…Priscilla Cabuyao is a Senior Analyst at the Centre of Excellence for National Security (CENS), S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University.
CENS / RSIS / Online
Last updated on 13/11/2014