• MOE to provide $25,000 each to injured school athletes Ser Yung and Adhe
• Ruggers involved in the St Andrew’s vs ACS(I) fight banned for a year
• MOE recommends that St Andrew’s take disciplinary action against Saints rugby coach
• Safety measures more than adequate in judo injury

Ministry of Education Press Release

Singapore, Wednesday, August 4, 2010 — The committees set up by the Singapore Schools Sports Council (SSSC) to investigate recent sports incidents involving schools* have released their findings.

The committees were led by school principals holding various posts in the SSSC and include Zone Sport Convenors, school personnel and Ministry of Education (MOE) HQ officers. Where relevant, the committees also sought input from external experts to provide an assessment of the incidents. The committees reviewed incident reports submitted by the schools involved and conducted interviews with the players, teachers and coaches. Where available, video recording and photographs of the matches were examined.

Findings on Rugby Match between ACS(I) and SAS
MOE and SSSC do not condone unsportsmanlike behaviour and expect students and coaches to uphold good sportsmanship at all times during games and competitions. Following the National Inter-School Rugby Championships 2010 Police Cup Under-17 Final played between Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) [ACS(I)] and St Andrew’s Secondary School (SAS) on 12 Apr 2010, a discipline committee was set up to investigate the unsportsmanlike behaviour displayed by players and coaches after the match.

The committee recommended that the players who were found to have committed breaches of discipline be disqualified from National and School Colours Award 2010 for behaviour contrary to good sportsmanship. The schools will reiterate the importance of the right values and conduct in sports. They will also counsel the players and guide them in undertaking a project that shows care and concern for others. In the more severe cases, the players are also banned from rugby activities for a year. The Committee also found the actions of the SAS rugby coach at that match to be unacceptable of a professional coach. It thus recommended that SAS take disciplinary action against him.

Findings on Judo Championships between SJI and HCI
To investigate the cause of the injury sustained by St Joseph’s Institution (SJI) student Tan Ser Yung at the National Inter-School Judo Championships on 20 April 2010, a Committee of Inquiry (COI) had been set up. The COI had carried out a thorough investigation into the incident. The video recording of the entire judo bout was also examined. Experts from the Singapore Judo Federation (SJF), All Japan Judo Federation (AJJF) and Kodokan Judo Institute (KJI) were also consulted on the moves executed during the match.

The COI concluded that the match and bout in question were conducted in a structured and orderly manner. Ample safety measures were put in place and the rules and regulations were also found to be more stringent as compared to some international youth championships. There was no evidence of any illegal moves made by the players. The COI’s findings have been corroborated by the independent experts from SJF, AJJF and KJI Japan.

Findings on Rugby Match between Bedok Town Secondary and ACS (Barker Road)
A COI was also convened to investigate the National Inter-School Rugby Championships 2010 Police Cup Under-17 Round 2 match between Bedok Town Secondary and ACS (Barker Road) on 31 March. The COI had carried out a thorough investigation to determine the cause of Adhe’s injury. Experts from the Singapore Rugby Union (SRU), as the authoritative body on rugby in Singapore, were also consulted for their assessment.

Based on the evidence reviewed, the COI concluded that the organisation and safety provisions for the match were consistent with matches played at the National Inter-School Rugby Championships 2010 Police Cup Under-17. The COI also noted that the referee had carried out his duties in accordance with the protocols required, and was in control of the match. The COI is not able to conclusively determine the exact time and cause of Adhe’s injury. The COI’s findings are supported by the assessment provided by the experts from SRU.

Both SJI and Bedok Town Secondary have been providing care and support respectively to Ser Yung and Adhe and their families throughout this period. They have also carried out fund raising efforts to help the families with medical expenses. In addition, as this is the first time such serious injuries have happened during the inter-school games competitions, the SSSC decided that it would provide financial assistance to the affected families to help defray the medical costs incurred by them. The SSSC will give an ex-gratia amount of S$25,000 each to help the families with the medical expenses of Ser Yung and Adhe. MOE and SSSC will continue to work with the schools to provide the necessary assistance and support to both Ser Yung and Adhe.

The safety of our students is paramount in sports and any other school activities. MOE has set up the Committee on Safety in School Sports (CSSS) to undertake a systematic review of safety practices and issues in the conduct of school sports. In its review, the CSSS will survey the current guidelines and practices governing school sports, consider best practices in other countries, and tap on views from sporting experts and the community. To address the recent sports injuries, CSSS will also pay special attention to activities which may carry higher inherent risk of injuries, such as competitive contact sports.

* These are (i) National Inter-School Rugby Championships 2010 Police Cup Under-17 Final between Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) and St Andrew’s Secondary School on 12 Apr 10, (ii) National Inter-School Rugby Championships 2010 Police Cup Under-17 Round 2 match between Bedok Town Sec and ACS (Barker Road) on 31 Mar 10, and (iii) National Inter-School Judo Championships between St Joseph’s Institution and Hwa Chong Institution on 20 Apr 10.