National Champions to LOSE their track

National Champions to LOSE their track

By Michelle, Chope Food for Needy

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I would like to draw attention to the fact that Cedar Girls Sec School, which have been National Champions consistently over the decades, and are in fact DOUBLE CHAMPIONS this year (facts which are neatly omitted from the ST article), will be losing their track to development, despite the fact that there are acres of land around them that are being reacquired for the Bidadari project.

Since I was a Cedar girl 25 years ago, Cedar Girls Sec have been National Track & Field champions every year. The whole school ran 800m everyday round that track after assembly. It is an integral part of everyday school life.

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If it’s decided that our school, just because it doesn’t have a rich Parents-Teachers Association (PTA) or rich alumni, despite being the National Champions every year, does not deserve a track, then it makes a mockery of the meritocracy principle that the administration claims is so central to our education system. I feel it teaches us all that Singapore knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. National heritage & national pride MUST begin to mean something!

At the Cedar Girls’ Sec 50th anniversary Golden Jubilee celebration, the Minister of Education Tharman Shanmugaratnam drew attention in his speech to the track being a symbol of the school’s special tradition of running, which has not only produced some of our top national athletes, but is a common experience binding the girls’ memories through decades.

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How many schools have ex-students who go to cheer their ex-school on at the Track & Field Championships after graduating?

The whole school would run 800m everyday after assembly. How to do that at Toa Payoh Stadium as has been suggested we use, once our track is taken?

Unlike most schools whose track is a pretty feature used once or twice a year, the track in Cedar Girls is an integral part of everyday school life.

Please get them to reconsider seriously & with a heart – when we have numerous golf courses n every condo has a huge swimming pool, do we really need to take back this small patch of land. This patch of land that has cultivated home-grown national athletes (home-grown, heartland, salt-of-the-earth girls whom I have seen with my own eyes dig deep to persevere and bring our school to glory despite terrible financial situations at home and broken-down BM2000 canvas shoes). No Nikes for them!

The charitable movement for the Needy that I started and that Prime Minister liked enough to highlight at his National Day Rally exhibition, was started with memories of those girls and those situations and the tenacity and grit that was built up from days and months spent pounding that track.

Please. Hear our appeal.

 

 

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