I am writing this in the midst of feeling incredibly pissed and indignant. You see, I’m from Singapore. We’ve just celebrated winning the rights to host the Youth Olympics in 2 years time.
I sent in an application to the Singapore Sports Council for a grant to take part in Ride the Lobster a month back. Today I received a rejection call from the Extreme and Adventure Sports division.
The lady called but didn’t manage to reach me the first time round so she sent an email. Very kind of her. A sentence stood out -
"We have received your application. however,my department is handling
adventure and extreme sports projects. "
I called her back and asked what the reason for rejection was. She said that “single-wheeled bicycling” is not in the realm of extreme or adventure sport. I asked what would be one and was told that “adventure racing or sports like rock climbing” would fall in the categories. I nicely told her that unicycling has always been portrayed in the media as an extreme sport and we’ve received quite a lot of coverage for that. Also, an 800km ride is pretty adventurous in my opinion.
She told me rather sarcastically to provide references to such media publications to which I said that I have and they are all in the appendix section of the proposal I sent her.
And her reply was a winner - “Oh, I’ve already passed that to my colleague at bla bla bla and I can’t look at it.” Then she cut me off and told me that her colleague at some Youth organization would get back to me in a week or two and I was free to call her up again if that doesn’t happen.
I have spoken to the people at that particular organization before and was told that they can’t approve a grant for us because we’re not a registered organization - that’s a good reason to give.