SNOC gets a new chief

SNOC gets a new chief


PRESIDENT: Tan Chuan-Jin

VICE-PRESIDENTS: Dr Tan Eng Liang, Low Teo Ping, Annabel Pennefather, Jessie Phua

NSA REPRESENTATIVES (ONE-YEAR TERM): Nicholas Fang (modern pentathlon), Dr Melanie Chew (equestrian), Milan Kwee (taekwondo)



At their first meeting, the SNOC exco can co-opt another five unelected members.

The winds of change swept through the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) last night.

SNOC president, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, stepped down from his post after 16 years at the helm to make way for Tan Chuan-Jin at the Annual General Meeting at the Swissotel Merchant Court Hotel.

The passing of the torch from DPM Teo, 59, to Manpower Minister Tan, who is 14 years younger, signifies a rejuvenation of the SNOC.

In addition to Tan's unopposed election as president for the next four years, Singapore Bowling Federation chief Jessie Phua joined incumbents Tan Eng Liang, Low Teo Ping and Annabel Pennefather as the SNOC's four vice-presidents, taking the place of Ng Ser Miang.

Ng, who chose to step down, will remain in the SNOC's executive committee in his capacity as a member of the International Olympic Committee.

While there have been changes to two key positions in the SNOC exco, the lack of a bigger presence of former national athletes remains.

While Tan will welcome having more former athletes in the SNOC exco in the future, he stressed it is up to the sports fraternity to decide.



"It really is for the fraternity to nominate the candidates they want to see come forward, and then vote for," he said, when he spoke to the media after the handover last night.

"And that's for the community to decide who could best represent them.

"It's always useful to have previous sportsmen to play a part, but this is something for the community to decide as a whole.

"But I think whoever is voted in by the community, does have... sporting interests at heart.

"And for ex-sportsmen, even if you're in the SNOC or not, there are many different ways for you to contribute to strengthen the scene."

Former national swimmer Mark Chay believes the lack of athlete representation in the exco does not make the SNOC weaker.

Earlier last month, Chay was elected into the SNOC's Athletes' Commission, which works with various stakeholders to find ways to help current athletes for life after sports.

It also gives input when the SNOC makes selections for major games and international competitions.

Said Chay: "Sports administration is a complex process and experienced athletes may have experience but might not make the best administrators.

"Of course, they'll speak from the heart for the sport, but sometimes you need to find the right fit.

"Anyway, the new president (Tan) is an active sportsman himself and all the people voted in are experienced administrators, and they know sports as well as anybody."

Singapore Swimming Association president Lee Kok Choy agreed.

He said: "We have the Athletes' Commission and they are involved in selection and so on, so they have representation in that way.

"And almost all of those who are in the SNOC but who are not ex-sportsmen, have been active in the scene for a long time.



"Of course, if former national athletes feel they want to be involved (with the SNOC), they should be encouraged to make themselves available for these leadership roles."

One of the priorities of the new SNOC president is to understand NSAs better.

When asked what his first task would be, Tan said: "One is to really get to know the sporting community, to visit the various NSAs and understand the issues they are facing.

"Obviously different sports are... at different stages of development and might have different problems or challenges.

"So one of the things I'd like to do is to get to know them better, so we can understand how best to support them."

DPM Teo, who also served as SNOC vice-president from 1994 to 1998, said in a speech that he had enjoyed his 16-year stint as president.

He was especially proud about introducing NSA representatives into the SNOC exco, which began in 1999 and became a full-fledged scheme in 2002.

This article was first published on JULY 1, 2014.
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