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Saunders, J. E., & Aplin, N. G. (1993, June). The road to medals: Not just a question of better training and technique. Paper presented at the International Sports Science Conference 93, Singapore.
This paper argues that Singapore has not achieved a level of success in international sport commensurate with its economic and political status. Many reasons have been advanced by commentators including the anatomical and physiological characteristics of the Asian body type and a lack of mental toughness (i.e. the physical and psychological characteristics of the local population.) However the success of some of the Asian nations in the Barcelona Olympics and the success of Singaporeans in the cut-throat world of international commerce fails to support such easy and fatalistic explanations.

Attempts to raise the standard of performance of national athletes have generally revolved around the application of sports science principles and the seeking out of high levels of technical expertise through the use of overseas experts. Financial incentives have also been part of recent strategies. However current approaches in corporate management are used to develop the argument that such strategies on their own are unlikely to be successful. Rather there is more to be gained from looking at the issue from a social perspective from which it can be seen that if Singapore's sports leaders wish to achieve success in the competitive world of international sport there is a need to address the ways in which the aspiring competitor is socialised into sport and the norms and values to which he is exposed within that process.

The paper concludes with some suggested strategies for developing a sports culture that has the potential to support competitive young athletes and encourage them to remain in sport and invest in the sort of commitment necessary to achieve personal peak performance.
This paper was presented at the International Sports Science Conference 93, held in Singapore from 9 - 11 Jun 1993
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