People have always said this: In Singapore, it’s not worth it to play sports professionally.
Your body suffers more wear-and-tear as you put it through its pace.
It’s a riskier option than starting your own business because Singapore sports associations only support proven winners.
And the match will carry on, regardless of your fate.
Now, before you start shooting at me with your SAR21 for what’s obviously #fakenews…
It Actually Happened
In case you just want a brief flashback, here’s the TL; DR:
- National Hockey player Siti Nur Raihanah Waled (24) suffered a head injury at a Singapore Hockey Federation hockey match
- There was no medical personnel on standby and an ambulance was called for an hour after the injury
- The officials decided that the match will go on
- A Singapore Hockey Federation (SHF) official on site told the team that it’s not SHF’s problem
- Lifeguards from a nearby swimming complex helped out instead
- SHF said initial arrangement with clubs was that the clubs themselves had to handle medical arrangement
- Raihanah was left dealing with dizzy spells, black spots in her brain and being unable to walk.
“We’ll Review The Safety Arrangements”
Now, it seems the age-old adage of something having to happen before things get done holds true.
Because after the big hoo-ha, Singapore Hockey Federation has spoken up.
They will meet up with affiliates to see how best they can move forward and learn from this incident.
In addition, they added that ambulance will be deployed at every match from hereon.
According to the Football Association of Singapore (FAS), an ambulance with paramedics on standby can cost up to $1,300 per match.
And It Appears SHF Isn’t The Only One
The Singapore Floorball Association (SFA) runs 9 leagues in total: six men’s and three women’s leagues.
And all of their matches do not have medical personnel on standby.
SFA said they’ll review their standard operating procedures (SOP) as best as they can. However, they highlighted the fact that they are facing budget constraints.
The Singapore Ice Hockey Association (SIHA) doesn’t have medical personnel on standby either.
However, all their referees are trained in first aid. And they have the know-how to use the automated external defibrillator (AED).
Which would’ve made a huge difference in that fateful hockey match Raihanah was injured in.
After all, one of the main gripes of the incident was that the girls had to make their own decision since the official allegedly wash her hands off the matter.
Considering that it seemed like a life-threatening situation, a trained person would’ve been of great help there.
“Safety is our priority.”
I’m pretty sure that no organisations started out trying to kill their players.
Nor do I believe that anyone who has knowledge of what to do in that situation will say, sorry, not my problem.
But at the end of the day, it remains clear that playing sports in Singapore isn’t really the first-choice option it sounds to be.
While people bemoaned the lack of talent pool, organisations and associations might want to take a look at how they can make the local sports scene better for players.
As for us lowly mortals who can’t pass IPPT or run their 2.4km under 12 minutes? We can also do our part by turning up to matches and support #TeamSingapore.
After all, ticket and merchandise revenue do eventually make their way to the players. Hopefully.
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