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More than 1,200 athletes to compete at SPH Schools Relay

March 20, 2003 – More than 1,200 athletes will display their running skills, teamwork and sleek baton-passing flair at the SPH Schools Relay Championships 2003 over two afternoons this weekend at the Serangoon Stadium.

A total of 61 primary and secondary schools, and junior colleges will send 92 teams to participate in the popular annual championship organised by the Singapore Amateur Athletic Association (SAAA) and sponsored by the Singapore Press Holdings Limited (SPH).

Ms Irene Ngoo, Assistant Vice President of SPH Corporate Relations, said: "There has been increasing focus on the promotion of a sporting culture among young sports enthusiasts.

"Apart from uncovering gems who can be polished into national athletes, the SPH Schools Relay Championships is one sports event in which participants learn the importance of team work and team spirit."

Agreed Mr Lim Jit Kee, Events and Marketing Director of SAAA: "Having four good runners can certainly give a team the edge but it is the understanding of how they can complement each other on track that will win them the race."

Competition will certainly heat up at this year’s championship with the introduction of a SPH Challenge Cup to be given to the best-performing school. The school will keep the trophy for one year and pass it on to next year’s best-performing school, but the school that wins the Cup for three consecutive years can keep the trophy. Victoria Junior College was the best-performing institution at last year’s event.

Old rivalries from the top schools in track and field will meet to set new scores. Last year, the Singapore American School came in tops in the girls division "A", with Anderson Junior College in a close second and National Junior College (NJC) in third position. The tides could turn this year with Lee Chang Yi, Singapore’s national runner in the Southeast Asian (SEA) games training squad, in NJC’s team. NJC’s chances are also boosted by the strong support from their supporters, who clinched the cheerleading competition title last year.

Over in divisions "B" and "C", the girls from St Nicholas Girls’ School dominated in both divisions last year and they are set to retain their crowns, if they can fend off the strong competition from Raffles Girls’ Secondary School and Nanyang Girls’ High School. In the boys category, look out for teams from The Chinese High School, St Joseph’s Institution and Victoria School.

Also taking place at this year’s event are the cheerleading competition and the best supporter award. At last two years’ events, fans have shown that they are keen to show their ardent support for the athletes. This year, the cheerleaders dressed in swanky outfits will be ready to cheer their teams forward with their choreographed moves.

"These side events add fun and colour to the excitement on track, and help to foster team spirit and camaraderie between athletes and supporters," said Ms Ngoo.

Mrs Glory Barnabas will be the guest of honour at this year’s event. She is a former national runner who represented Singapore in several regional and international events, clocking 12.2 seconds for 100 metres and 24.8 seconds for 200 metres.

SPH has been the sponsor of the SPH Schools Relay Championships since 1992.

Issued by Singapore Press Holdings Limited.

Journalists, photographers and camera crew are invited to cover all the activities on and off track this weekend. For more information and event fixtures, please contact:

Esther Low
Assistant Manager, Corporate Relations
Singapore Press Holdings Limited
Tel: 6319 1280
Mr S. Govindaraju
Honorary Secretary
Singapore Amateur Athletic Association
Tel: 6386 2721

Main board listed Singapore Press Holdings Limited is the leading news and information provider, offering quality content for print, Internet, TV and radio. It is licensed to publish 15 newspapers in the four official languages and six lifestyle periodicals. Everyday, 2.78 million individuals, or 90 per cent of people above 15 years old, read one of 15 newspapers published by SPH while online publication of its six main dailies enjoy some 120 million page views a month. SPH has ventured into the broadcast medium and operates two popular free-to-air TV channels, Channel U in Chinese and Channel i in English.