Monday, August 9, 2010


Publication Date: August 05, 2010


SINGAPORE - Three-and-a-half months after his judo match, Tan Ser Yung, 16, is still in hospital, undergoing rehabilitation.

But the injury that led to a blood clot in his brain was not caused by any illegal moves on the mat, a committee of inquiry has found.

After examining a video recording of the entire contest, the committee set up by the Singapore Schools Sports Council (SSSC) concluded that not only had the bout been conducted in a "structured and orderly manner", with ample safety measures in place, but the rules and regulations were "more stringent" compared to "some international youth championships".

These investigation results were also corroborated by experts from judo federations in Japan and the Singapore Judo Federation, according to a Ministry of Education press release yesterday.

The release of the findings comes at a time when Ser Yung is "recovering well" at Ang Mo Kio Community Hospital, said his school principal Koh Thiam Seng. But the hospitalisation bills are piling up, and St Joseph's Institution is pitching in to help.

"The school has been encouraging and supporting Ser Yung and his family through frequent visits by teachers and students. The school has also undertaken a fund raising exercise to help Ser Yung and his family," said Mr Koh.

"To date, the school has raised about $75,000 from the students, parents, alumni and from his parish Church of St Mary of the Angels to help pay the medical expenses when required."

Besides Ser Yung, another sportsboy had been seriously injured earlier this year.

But a second committee convened to look into a rugby match in March could not conclusively determine when and how exactly Bedok Town Secondary student Adhe Noviello, 17, sustained his head injuries.

But the committee said 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. It also noted that the referee had "carried out his duties in accordance with the protocols required, and was in control of the match".

According to the Education Ministry, as this is the first time such serious injuries have happened during inter-school games competitions, the SSSC has decided to provide financial assistance of $25,000 to each of the affected families to help defray the medical costs.

As for the "unsportsmanlike behaviour" displayed in a third sports incident earlier this year - a rugby tie between Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) and St Andrew's Secondary School - a discipline committee has recommended the guilty students be disqualified from school- and national-level sports awards.

In the more severe cases, the players are also banned from rugby activities for a year, said MOE.

The recommendations mirror moves taken by the schools after the incident.

But the committee also found the actions of the St Andrew's rugby coach to be unacceptable of a professional coach and recommended that the school take disciplinary action against him.
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