The average Singaporean will be forgiven if they think that the Singapore Sports scene is in a rut after reading about a recent series of articles alleging political infighting and poor management in Singapore's top sporting bodies.
In yet another post confirming such "infighting", National Marathoner Soh Rui Yong has exposed yet another ridiculous arrangement imposed upon athletes by unfeeling and over demanding sports officials.
According to the 25 year-old Soh, who holds Singapore's national best record of 2hr 24min 55sec for marathon runs, the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) has inked a restrictive deal that effectively forces athletes to jettison their existing sponsorships in favor of SNOC-partnered sponsors in the lead up to the 2017 South East Asian (SEA) Games, which will be held in Kuala Lumpur from 19 to 30 August.
Read his post here.
Soh's post states that Team Singapore athletes cannot "mention" brands on social media posts that are not sponsors of the SNOC. This effectively stunts his deals with his own personal sponsor, who is not a SNOC sponsor.
Soh wrote: "Sponsorship is already hard to come by for Singaporean athletes, and this rule makes it even harder for Singapore athletes to get the sponsorship and financial support which we require to train and compete at a high level."
In a show of defiance, Soh posted a shout out to a Japanese shoe brand that had sponsored Soh with shoes, attire and many other supporting materials that had not been provided for by Singapore's sporting bodies. Soh is aiming to achieve his second gold medal at the SEA games this year. He wrote cheekily: "Can’t mention the brand name but it rhymes with basics."
The SNOC has since responded to Soh's response by threatening him to remove the post. Soh has refused.
Instead, Soh thanked the SNOC's official attire sponsor, Yonex, and said that the solution for this impasse would be to allow athletes to thank both the SNOC's official sponsors and their own non-official sponsors.
He also had these stinging words for Singapore's sporting officials:
"Also forgive me, an athlete, for being less than happy about athletes earning a lot less money than the officials and sponsors who agreed upon implementing this rule, many of whom sit on comfortable salaries while policing the social media activity of the very athletes that make them money in the first place. Without the athletes, many of whom pursue training and competition while living on a shoestring budget to make ends meet, sports officials wouldn’t even have a job!#Rule40"