Ex-chief fires arrows

SINGAPORE - The Archery Association of Singapore (AAS) is set for a dramatic change in leadership - just two months after the sport's best SEA Games showing in 30 years.

Current president Chong Foo Siong and his management committee were given a vote of no-confidence at an extraordinary general meeting (EOGM) last month, losing the vote seven to six.

A new committee is set to be elected at an EOGM this weekend, with former chief Tang Chang Poh running for presidency.

The Straits Times understands that Chong will not contest the position though Canberra Archery Club chairman Ong Zhong Da is mulling over a run.

Said Tang, who was chief of the national sport association from 1998 to 2010: "I stepped down then to let a younger team take over but things just became worse in the past four years."

He said there had been no effort to engage a new national coach after the resignation of Rachel Sng at the end of the SEA Games in December when the archers picked up a gold and a silver.

A team have also yet to be selected for the Asian Grand Prix in Bangkok early next month - a qualification event for this year's Asian Games.

The sport was also taken off the school sports calendar after just one year.

It is why even though an election is due just months away in June, Tang feels there is no time to be lost before Singapore hosts the SEA Games in 2015.

He said: "We know the frustration of the archers and we have to do something about it, rather than sit and wait.

"If we don't straighten up now, who will take care of them?"

But members from the incumbent committee beg to differ.

Said honorary secretary Lim Chee Wee: "It is there for all to see on our website that we've been advertising for a new assistant head coach but nobody has come forward.

"We've already registered for the Asian Grand Prix by numbers, and there would never have been any problems getting an extension because of our ongoing election.

"The current committee inherited the cash-flow issue from the previous management but it has since been resolved."

ST understands that the Singapore Sports Council is aware of the situation and is keeping a close watch on the developments.

Said Ong, a young candidate for president at just age 27: "The dissolving of the committee is unfortunate. A lot of matters requires attention and follow-up and some of these plans might not come to fruition if Mr Tang comes in.

"I want to follow through with these plans and it's important to get our internal matters right."

Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.