AS THE parent of a rower from the victorious Singapore junior dragon boat team, I was glowing with pride - and gratified - to read Tuesday's report, 'Dragon boaters roar in Prague'.
For the past year or more, my daughter trained seven days a week and squeezed in additional time and labour between training to scour housing estates, collecting old newspapers and drink cans to help raise money to fund the trip to the Prague meet. She lugged these items from home to school as well. All this in addition to keeping up with her school work. My home was turned into a karung guni depot, stocked with old newspapers and drink cans.
Relatives chipped in by collecting these items and passing them to us during weekend family gatherings.
My neighbours must have thought we had financial problems.
I had to sacrifice my sleep to drive my daughter to training to save travel time and so she could get as much sleep as possible. She missed most weekend family gatherings around the dining table because of training or she was simply too pooped.
She - and we - made these sacrifices with one aim in mind: to send a national team to Prague and do Singapore proud. And it was mission accomplished for the 49-member squad of students who won four gold medals, three silvers and a bronze.
But here is the ironically disappointing postscript: My daughter and the team discovered that the national team from New Zealand which took part in the same championships was sponsored - by Singapore Airlines.
Commandoleaderfirstclass Today, 10:40 AM
Dennis, I am so proud of your kid.
It must be the sweetest victory there is.
SIA just chalked up another donkey butt point.
[I like the "donkey butt point" comment. Since that comment, there has been some searching for confirmation that SIA did sponsor the Kiwi team, cos the website of the team seem to suggest that they had no sponsorship.
I checked SIA website and they did not mention any sponsorship of the Kiwi dragon boat team, although there were mention of other educational sponsorship in Thailand and other countries.
If SIA did indeed sponsor the NZ team, it would indeed deserve all the negative comments made on the internet. But if this turns out to be false information, then it speaks badly of our ability to think, let alone critically.]