Athletes: SAA mulls head coach options

Athletes: SAA mulls head coach options
NEW CHALLENGE: Former national sprinter Asmah Hanim was a sports science research specialist at Raffles Institution before accepting her new role as SAA's sports development and performance chief.

SINGAPORE - Former national sprinter Asmah Hanim was on Wednesday named the Singapore Athletic Association's (SAA) sports development and performance chief.

The 30-year-old was the youngest of seven candidates, with five of them understood to be foreigners in their 50s.

Asmah takes up the post which veteran track and field coach Loh Chan Pew vacated in January.

She will officially start work on April 21 and will be charged with enhancing the development and high performance support for athletes and coaches.

Asmah does not hold a coaching certificate from the world athletics body, International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), but has a Masters' degree in Exercise and Sports Science (Sports Performance).

She received a diploma after attending an International Coaching Course organised by Hungary's Semmelweis University, in cooperation with the International Olympic Committee, in 2011.

FAITH IN ASMAH

Before accepting the role with the SAA, she was a sports science research specialist at Raffles Institution.

SAA president Tang Weng Fei has placed his faith in her and suggested she will have a key role in deciding whether they decide to appoint a national track and field head coach.

Speaking to The New Paper from Melbourne, where he is on holiday with his family, Tang said: "The national coach was my idea.

"In the interviews we had, she (Asmah) debated the necessity of having one, listing the pros and the cons.

"It's not fair for me to choose without her, as the new national coach will report to her.

"So I handed her all the applications for the national coach position.

"Maybe, at the end of the day, she will agree with me. But she will recommend if she thinks we should have one, two or none."

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