Speech by Mr Zainudin Nordin at the Courts Young Lions 2013 Press Conference
SPEECH BY MR ZAINUDIN NORDIN
PRESIDENT, FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION OF SINGAPORE
COURTS YOUNG LIONS 2013 PRESS CONFERENCE
1.00PM, MONDAY, 28 JANUARY 2013
JALAN BESAR STADIUM
Mr Terry O’Connor
Chief Executive Officer, Courts
Deputy Assistant Commissioner of Police
Commander of Clementi Police Division
Football Association of Singapore
Friends from the media
Ladies and gentlemen
1. A very good afternoon to all of you and I would like to thank all for being able to join us this Monday afternoon.
2. I would like to take this opportunity to commend the Courts Young Lions for a good run in the S.League where they managed to crave out some good performances against several top teams last year.
3. Apart from the team’s perseverance and display on the pitch, our success in various aspects in recent years would not have been possible without the continual support of our stakeholders, including fans, sponsors, media and relevant agencies.
4. I must thank Courts for their unwavering support for the Courts Young Lions since 2011 and the various programmes they have implemented with the objective of engaging the community and fans at large. For instance, Courts went the extra mile to bring football legends such as Pele, Eric Cantona and more recently, Peter Schmeichel, who is also an ambassador for Courts, to Singapore where they shared their experiences with our young players. Such sessions have been insightful and have also inspired our emerging youth players. Going forward, we can certainly look forward to seeing more of such events from Courts in 2013 together with the Football Association of Singapore (FAS).
5. The Courts Young Lions have produced some fine talents over the past years where we have seen the likes of national team captain Shahril Ishak, Khairul Amri, Izwan Mahbud and Hariss Harun rise through the ranks, with their relentless determination and unwavering team spirit.
6. While there will be more young players below the age of 23 in new head coach Aide’s team this season, we are confident that they will put up their best performance in the S.League and continue to enhance youth development in Singapore, as outlined in our FAS’ Strategic Plan. While the Courts Young Lions will strive for success in the S.League and Cup competitions, it is also our objective to prepare them for the 2013 and 2015 editions of the SEA Games.
7. We are confident that the experience and exposure in the S.League will benefit our Courts Young Lions players – several of whom are likely to represent Singapore at the SEA Games later this year.
8. Apart from youth development, FAS and the Courts Young Lions are committed to community engagement. I am pleased to announce that for the 2013 S.League season, all youths playing in the Delta League, which is a football league run by the Clementi Police Division, will be eligible for a complimentary Courts Young Lions membership card that will provide them free entry to all the Courts Young Lions’ home matches at the Jalan Besar Stadium, as well as the club's activities. The Courts Young Lions players will also serve as mentors to the youths in the Delta League. This initiative is a collaboration between Singapore Police Force and the Football Association of Singapore (FAS).
9. I would like to also bring your attention to the first programme under Vision 2030 by Singapore Sports Council (SSC), aptly named the SportCares Movement and Foundation. The SportCares Movement aims to provide more support for meaningful programmes so as to amplify the positive impact on the community, and to grow opportunities and capabilities for the vulnerable segments in Singapore. A SportCares Foundation will be established to fund and support both new and existing sport-related initiatives that improve the lives of the underprivileged, disadvantaged, or people with disabilities. SSC has committed to provide dollar-for-dollar matching for the first $1 million in donations. More details on the type of projects that would be supported under SportCares will be announced by SSC.
10. SportCares provides an excellent opportunity for corporations to drive their corporate social responsibility efforts and forge more meaningful relationships with the community. FAS, together with SSC, will be looking at meaningful ways to recognise businesses that actively promote sport under the banner of SportCares.
11. I would like to take this opportunity to urge corporations to join us in the development of Singapore football and to use sports to enhance community bonding. As Mr Lawrence Wong, Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth rightly noted, “Football is the only sport where you can really mobilise the whole nation.” We sincerely hope that corporations will view sports, including football, as a key platform to drive brand awareness and equity. Their support will facilitate our ongoing efforts to raise footballing standards and further enable us to expand our community and outreach initiatives, aimed at using sports as a strategy for nation building efforts.
12. In conclusion, we look forward to the continual support from our stakeholders including clubs, sponsors, government agencies, media, fans, volunteers, players and parents as we strive to raise the standards of local football in all aspects. Let us work together to further promote and develop the beautiful game.
13. On this note, I wish everyone a great afternoon ahead and to head coach Aide Iskandar, assistant coach S Subramani, Courts Young Lions players and the backroom staff, I wish you success in the 2013 S.League season ahead.