Another dot in the blogosphere?

Posts Tagged ‘award

I forgot to reflect on this when I thought out loud about the inequality and inequity of the financial awards for our Paralympians.

To be clear, the inequality is the disparity of the gold medal award for Olympians (currently SGD 1 million) vs Paralympians (currently SGD 200K). The inequity is about recognising how Paralympians likely struggle and sacrifice more than their able-bodied counterparts.

Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich on

My reflection today is about one of the disturbing rationales in this Reddit thread for not initially increasing the quantum from SGD 100K in 2008. A quick read will reveal how some justify the lower quantum based on popularity/majority, i.e., how famous our Paralympians are, what the viewership of the Paralympics is, etc. 

The Reddit rationalisation in brief: Paralympians are less well-known and the Paralympics are not watched as much, therefore those athletes do not deserve as much reward or acknowledgment. This is rationalising from a spreadsheet.

Consider this thought experiment: Imagine allocating financial support by race and using a majority measure. If this was the case, Singaporeans of Chinese descent would get more than Malays or Indians. I also wonder how a decision maker would compute the amount for someone of mixed race.

This thought experiment is just not done because it is unjust. It would reveal us as cruel and racist. This is why I concluded yesterday that what we do sends a message about we are and what we value.

If we say we want a kinder and more inclusive society, then the previously marginalised and excluded need to be given more to level up (equity). In the context of our Paralympians, it starts with rewarding them at least as much as our Olympians (equality).

In a popularity contest, we might choose a winner by majority. Our Paralympians are already winners of our hearts if we open them. Now they are challenging our mindsets by asking us who we are and what we value.

Video source

After watching our Paralympian swimmer, Yip Pin Xiu, win her second gold medal, I wondered how much she would be financially rewarded on returning to Singapore.

Currently, our able-bodied Olympians get SGD 1 million (source: Singapore National Olympic Council). This might seem like a lot (we are first on this world list), but athletes must pay tax on this quantum (see point 4) and give at least 20% of it to their sports association (point 5).

The Singapore National Paralympic Council (SNPC) also has cash awards for athletes like Yip. It is called the Athletes’ Achievement Awards (see bottom of this page). The SNPC does not reveal how much is awarded, but emphasises: 

The cash quantum is taxable and of which 20% is retained by the Singapore Disability Sports Council (SDSC) / National Disability Sports Associations (NDSAs) to help fund future training and development.

So the conditions of the award are the same for both sets of athletes, but the awarded amounts are different. Press sources like STonline reported that the quantum is SGD 200K at of 2016.

If the information in the initial post of this Reddit thread is correct, the award was raised in 2008 from SGD 100K to 200K after this inequality was brought up in parliament.

I am not about to argue against the weak excuses the parliamentarians gave to defend the status quo. I would rather focus on who we are.

Both sets of athletes will likely tell you they are not in their sports for the money. My argument is not that we need to pay or reward them for bringing glory to their sport or country. It is about sending a message about who we are and what we value. 

We should put our money where our collective mouth is: If we claim that we want a more equal and equitable society, let us reward our Paralympians the same (if not more) than our Olympians.

It is that time of year to nominate other edubloggers for the Eddies. Nominations close tomorrow, 1 Dec.

My nomination for Best Individual Blog is Steve Wheeler’s Learning with ‘e’s. Steve is a thought leader whose entries are bound to probe and provoke. Great stuff!

My vote for Best Edtech/Resource Sharing Blog is Free Technology for Teachers by Richard Byrne. Despite the rise of group blogs that try to do the same, I do not think that they come close to the regularity, integrity, and informativeness of Richard’s blog.

I would also nominate both for Lifetime Achievement in a heartbeat.

And despite a reduction in #edsg involvement, I nominate @tucksoon for Best Individual Tweeter for his role in being one of the godfathers of the #edsg community and probably having the largest following of educators in this part of the world.

Edublog Awards Logo by cx1uk, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License  by  cx1uk 

My nominations for the 2012 Edublog Awards are:

… to be nominated for Best elearning/Corporate Education Edublog!

I haven’t a snowball’s chance in hell of winning, but like the nominees of glam celeb events like to say, it’s an honour to have been nominated.

It’s a surprise to me that my blog is even listed because that is not why I blog. I am sure that many of the other bloggers and tweeters share the same sentiment. But it is a way for the edublogging and tweeting community to recognize the efforts of those who share what they love.

I’m guessing that @tucksoon made the initial nomination (Thank you, again!). He has been nominated in the best individual tweeter section and he has my vote!


Usage policy

%d bloggers like this: