Pioneer of Singapore ballet scene picked as Her World Woman Of the Year 2008, Paralympic swimmer and equestrian share Young Woman Achiever 2008 Award.
Singapore, 6 March 2009 - SPH Magazines Pte Ltd ("SPH Magazines"), the Publisher of Choice, is proud to present the annual Her World Woman of the Year Awards. Every year, SPH Magazines gives out these prestigious awards under the banner of Her World – Singapore’s No. 1 women’s magazine - to outstanding Singaporean women who have contributed significantly to society, have projected the best image of our nation and are inspirational role models to other women.
The Her World Woman of the Year 2008* award goes to the co-founder and former artistic director of the Singapore Dance Theatre, Ms Goh Soo Khim, for her commitment to developing ballet in Singapore.
Ms Elisabeth Gwee, editor of Her World, says, “As artistic director and co-founder of the Singapore Dance Theatre, Ms Goh was instrumental in making the SDT one of the most acclaimed professional dance companies in the Asia-Pacific region. With her retirement last December, we felt it timely to honour the achievements of this dedicated and passionate pioneer of Singapore’s dance scene.”
The Her World Young Woman Achiever 2008* award is shared by two Paralympian medalists, swimmer Ms Yip Pin Xiu and equestrian Ms Laurentia Tan. This is the first time that the Young Woman Achiever award has been jointly presented to two winners. Ms Gwee says: “Both women left an indelible mark at last year’s Paralympics - Pin Xiu for winning Singapore’s first Olympic gold, and Laurentia for being the first Asian to win a Paralympic Equestrian medal in Hongkong. The judging panel felt they equally deserved the recognition for their outstanding achievements, which is why we’ve given the award to both of them.”
The Her World Woman of the Year Award is now in its 18th year, while the Young Woman Achiever Award is in its 10th year. The awards ceremony will take place at a gala dinner on Friday, 6 March 2009, at the Fullerton Hotel Ballroom. Minister Lee Boon Yang will be the Guest-of-Honour.
Ms Gwee adds, “This is the most established and recognized awards event that celebrates outstanding women in Singapore. Since 1991, Her World has continued to honour remarkable women who have left a lasting impression with their outstanding accomplishments, and who have continued to make a mark locally and internationally.”
SPH Magazines’ CEO, Mr Loh Yew Seng, says, "As the publisher of choice behind Singapore’s number one women’s magazine, SPH Magazines sees itself playing a significant role in recognising and rewarding women for their outstanding achievements. Through this and other awards, we hope to empower them to stretch their potential and attain far-reaching success."
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR 2008 : Ms Goh Soo Khim
(co-founder / former Artistic Director of the Singapore Dance Theatre)
This year’s winner, Ms Goh Soo Khim, is one of the most respected figures in Singapore’s dance scene. She has spent the last 46 years honing this art, performing, nurturing young talents and developing ballet in Singapore.
She was the first Asian dancer to be admitted to the Australian Ballet School in 1964. When she returned to Singapore in 1971, she became the director and principal of the Singapore Ballet Academy (SBA), and went on to teach hundreds of students and headline many of its annual performances.
In 1988, Ms Goh co-founded the Singapore Dance Theatre (SDT) with the late Anthony Then, and shaped it into one of the most versatile and acclaimed professional dance companies in the Asia-Pacific region. Today, it has 23 dancers hailing from Singapore, Japan, Korea, China, Australia and the United States. It has performed 15 full-length ballets and 100 other works, and has traveled abroad to perform in China, Australia, France and Britain.
Ms Goh was awarded the prestigious Cultural Medallion in 1981 and the National Day Public Service Medal in 1989 for her outstanding contributions to the development of dance in Singapore. The 65-year-old retired from the SDT last December to spend more time with her grandchildren and travel.
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER 2008 : Ms Yip Pin Xiu and Ms Laurentia Tan
Ms Yip Pin Xiu
(swimmer and Paralympic gold medallist)
Pin Xiu was born with hereditary sensory motor neuropathy, which affects the functions of her nerves and muscles. Her body is getting weaker by the day, and her vision in one eye is deteriorating.
Still, that did not stop her from making history by winning the Republic’s first Olympic gold medal in the women’s 50m (S3) backstroke at the Beijing Paralympics last September. With a time of 58.75s, she beat her nearest opponent by more than seven seconds and seven metres in the 50m backstroke (S3 category). She also set two world records and won a silver in the 50m freestyle. She was conferred the Meritorious Service Medal for her achievements.
The 17-year-old started swimming competitively five years ago. Her next goal is to break another world record in the 100m Freestyle and two more gold medals at the 2012 Paralympics.
Ms Laurentia Tan
(equestrian and Paralympic bronze medallist)
Laurentia picked up horse-riding at the age of five as a form of physiotherapy for her cerebral palsy. She was born in Singapore but moved to England when she was three. Despite being told by her doctors that she would probably not be able to walk, she has overcome all odds through horse-riding. Now, not only can she walk properly, she can also drive a car.
She won Singapore’s first Paralympic medal when she secured a bronze at the Equestrian Individual Championship held in Hong Kong last year. The win made her the first Asian to win a Paralympic Equestrian medal. Laurentia also picked up another bronze at the Equestrian Individual Freestyle Championship. For these, she received the Public Service Medal.
The 29-year-old has an honours degree in Hospitality Management and Tourism, and quit her job as a mental health care worker to train full-time.
(See attached file: Factsheet (final).doc) (to be embargoed until 6 March, 9pm)
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