A Reliance On Foreign Talent

National swimmer Tao Li has opted to return to China to train instead of training in Singapore.

The discussion of foreign talent is a touchy topic amongst many Singaporeans especially with certain adopted citizens behaving poorly. When it comes to sports, we’ve seen a slow weeding out of foreigners in national colours but we still have a pool of athletes who aren’t natural citizens.

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Tao Li has made waves recently for her refusal to train in the new OCBC aquatic center where the SEA games will be held this year. It would seem like a strange move on Tao’s part to refuse training on home ground and getting acquainted with the competition pool she’ll be competing in later this year. Instead Tao has opted to return to China where she’ll train in Hubei, the place of her birth.

Tao is a forerunner for team Singapore having bagged a multitude of medals, eleven gold medals and two bronze medals from previous competitions. Most of our medal hopes hang on the shoulders of Tao and fellow swimmer Joseph Schooling, with Tao being the more experienced of the two.

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Lot’s of money and time have been spent grooming athletes and majority of our medal hopefuls through the years have been “foreign imports” not to forget a good number of our national football team in the past were not born and raised in Singapore.

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Does the Sports Council put too much stock into foreign talents, are Singaporeans just not up to mark, or is there simply no room for Singaporeans to pursue an athletic career with so much emphasis placed on education and academics?

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