SINGAPORE – To commemorate the legacy of former minister EW Barker, his family and the Physical Education and Sports Science Academic Group (PESS) launched a book on Tuesday, October 12, which chronicles the milestones in his life.
The EW Barker Memorial Book shows the impact of his dedication to sport in Singapore and the EW Barker Chair and Fellowship. It will also provide insight into the sporting environment in the country through the eyes of 10 former EW Barker professors and fellows.
Associate Professor Koh Koon Teck, Director of PESS, which is part of the National Institute of Education (NIE), said: “We hope this book inspires readers to see how a person’s dedication can have a lasting legacy and have an impact on the development of sport. and advancement in Singapore. “
The late Mr. Barker was the Prime Minister of Justice of Singapore in 1964 and the longest-serving Chairman of the Singapore National Olympic Council (1970-1990), among other portfolios. He was also known as an avid sportsman and played many sports including hockey, cricket, soccer, rugby, tennis and track and field.
For his contributions to sport, he received the Distinguished Service Award from the United States Sports Academy in 1983 and was also the first Singaporean to receive the Olympic Order (silver) from the International Olympic Committee.
The EW Barker Professorship and Scholarship Fund was established in 2002, one year after his death.
In a ceremony to celebrate the book launch at Nanyang Technological University, Guest of Honor Teo Chee Hean, Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister of National Security, paid tribute to Mr. Barker and his contributions to the independence, development and sporting scene of modern Singapore.
Mr Teo said in his speech: “I thank NIE and the Barker family for coming together to produce this book. It is a fitting tribute to the man who has always put his nation before himself and who firmly believed in the power of sport to shape a better future for his nation – by promoting discipline and sportsmanship and building healthy bodies, active minds and healthy character.
“As we come together to celebrate Mr. Barker today, I am confident that his many contributions will continue to strengthen our nation’s bonds and take our sport development to greater heights.
“May Mr. Barker’s legacy continue, through these programs, to inspire all of us to use our talents and abilities to do good, have a positive influence on others and always do our best for Singapore.”
Mr. Barker’s daughters, Carla and Deborah, were also present at the event.
Ms Deborah Barker recalled playing hockey and badminton with her family in their backyard, watching her father play cricket at Padang and the stories her father told her about competing for Raffles College.
She said: “After quitting competitive playing, my dad got involved in sport in a different way… When he retired from sport management and leadership, he always loved sport by. as a spectator until the end of his days.
“You could say that apart from his family and his nation, sport was one of my father’s great loves, so it is truly wonderful and fitting that NTU and NIE have chosen to honor his memory and distinguish him by creating a sports chair and a scholarship in his name. “
Ms Carla Barker added: “I would like to thank everyone who believed in my father’s legacy and led it in this way to contribute and hopefully inspire the development of sports science in Singapore. . “
The book is not for sale but will be available at most libraries and universities. An online version will also be available on the NIE website.
Assoc Prof Koh hopes the book will inspire more people to study sports science and management (SSM) “to add dynamism, knowledge and expertise to raise the standards of excellence in sport and its associated industry. ‘to come up”.
He added: “Here it is important to get more people to pursue … SSM to meet the growing demand for stronger and better qualified people to lead the conceptualization, organization and organization of events. world-class sportsmen inside and outside Singapore. “
The EW Barker Scholarship was also launched at the same event and aims to develop talented and engaged undergraduate students in the fields of sports management as well as sports and exercise science. Up to four no-obligation scholarships will be awarded each year to deserving students in these fields of study.
The 2019, 2020 and 2021 EW Barker scholarship recipients also received their awards on Tuesday. The presentation has not taken place for the past two years due to the pandemic.
One of the recipients was taekwondo representative Ckrystal Chin, who joined the national team in 2019 and hopes to represent Singapore at the SEA Games.
The 22-year-old sports science and management freshman, who also hopes to represent NTU at the World University Games, said: “(Receiving the award) still looks like a dream. I was really shocked but also very happy.
“In the last few years when I was in polytechnic, money was always a distraction. With the scholarship, I don’t feel like I’m putting a burden on my parents (anymore) and they may feel more reassured.
“I feel more motivated because I want to prove that the school didn’t make the wrong choice (by naming me) and I’m very grateful. I want to repay (the school and society) in any way I can. but right now my way of giving back is to study hard and bring glory to school. “
Ryan Tan, who received the scholarship last year, said it was the claim that hard work pays off.
“It motivates me that I’m on the right track and it reminds me that I always have to stay fully engaged in what I do,” said Tan, 22, who plays for Singapore Cricket Club in Division 2 of the League. Singapore football team.
“What I read about (Barker) was remarkable and I think without him the sports scene in Singapore might not be what it is today.”