Ex-runner Asmah takes key SAA post

Ex-runner Asmah takes key SAA post
Asmah Hanim, with fellow members of the national track and field team, (from left) Gary Yeo and Calvin Kang in this 2013 photo.

SINGAPORE - After scouring the globe for close to a year, the Singapore Athletic Association (SAA) has opted to put its faith in a Singaporean to head its high performance programme.

Former national runner Asmah Hanim was yesterday unveiled as its sports development and performance chief, taking over from interim holder Loh Chan Pew. The latter resigned last month and has since been suspended for allegedly undermining the executive committee's authority.

Asmah, 29, was one of eight hopefuls - three local and five from regions like Eastern Europe and North Africa - who threw their hats into the ring.

"Some of them were pretty well-qualified," SAA president Tang Weng Fei said of the foreign applicants. "But, in the end, we preferred to hire a Singaporean. When you have a local with all the necessary qualifications and drive, you should always try to develop them."

A sports science research specialist at Raffles Institution, Asmah had previously served as the SAA's assistant honorary secretary from 2010-12, and was selected to attend an international coaching course at Semmelweis University in Budapest.

As high performance chief, she will oversee all training, development and sports science support matters pertaining to the national team - at both age group and senior level.

"I hope to inspire confidence within the fraternity and look into how best the association can help to develop potential and support their needs while working within our constraints," Asmah said.

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