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singapore athletic association
Posted by Sha
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Dear Athletes, Coaches, Friends of Singapore Athletics, wishing all of you a great 2021!

It has been slightly more than 100 days since you entrusted our team to helm the Singapore Athletics Association at the AGM in Sept 2020. Although it has been a short 3 months, we have been busy – one of the planks we campaigned on was our 100-day plan, and a promise to provide a report card of our progress for full accountability and transparency, which we have set out to do here.

As we look forward to meeting the challenges in the year ahead, we wanted to thank you once again for your support; we can only accomplish our goals by working together. In each of the items below, while we identify the MC members spearheading it, the heavy lifting has been done by their respective Secretariat teams and we thank them all for their dedication and hard work! As always, we also look forward to feedback

Best,
Lien, on behalf of the Singapore Athletics Management Committee


(1) Engage Athletes, Coaches, SportSG and other key stakeholders

    Events organisation – The challenge of COVID has meant first a lockdown, then significant new logistics and operating constraints to the way we organise events. Throughout all this, our SA Secretariat team led by VP(C) Mr. Joe Yap has delivered. During the wet year-end period in Nov-Dec 2020, the team organized the SPEX Scholarship trials as well as 2 Performance trials, where athletes broke national records, personal bests and we also had initial qualifiers for SEAG 21.

    Community outreach – In the past 3 months, our team has held dialogue sessions with Athletes, Coaches, Parents and also organised workshops with Technical Officials to hear their concerns. We have also met our national athletes on the ground to hear their plans and training progress.

    SEA Games preparation – In terms of 2021 SEA Games preparation, VP(T&S) Mr. Gary Yeo has established the Selection sub-committee (details below), appointed Mr. Luis Filipe Vitorino Cunha as the Head Relay coach, with Mr. Lee Cheng Wei, and Ms. Asmah Hanim to assist him. We have also announced the SEA Games qualifying standards, and published them on our SAA website (https://www.singaporeathletics.org.sg/31st-southeast-asian-games-2021-vietnam).

    We have a strong events calendar for 2021 to give our athletes the best chance for qualifying locally, so that they are not subject to the vicissitudes of overseas competition, given the uncertainties of travel.

    Stakeholder engagement – In Oct 2020, a few weeks after taking over, we shared our Multi-Year Sports Plan along with the FY21 budget and grant requests with SportSG (Hd SSI Mr. Toh Boon Yi and team), Sports School (Mr Ong Kim Soon and members of his team). We also spoke to MCCY, meeting with Min Edwin Tong, Parl Sec Eric Chua and their team to share our plans and aspirations.

    Establishment of Athletes Commission – The founding Athlete Commission Chair Mr. Poh Seng Song was appointed to the SA Management Committee. He has successfully recruited 5 current or former national athletes onto the Athletes Commission to oversee the interests our athletes, and we have approved the AC’s constitution and Terms of Reference. The members of the AC are Ms. Michelle Sng (Jumps), Mr. Colin Tung (Distance), Mr. Kenneth Khoo (Sprints) and Mr. Eric Yee (Throws).


(2) Internal Processes / Governance / Funding

    Talent renewal – There have also been people movements within the SA Secretariat. Our former GM, Mr. Malek Aljunied had requested to return to SNOC after his secondment to SA, and the MC would like to thank him for his service.

    After a rigorous CV screening and interview process, we are excited to announce the appointment of Mr. Gerald Ng as SA’s new GM. He has extensive regional Sports Business experience with ONE Championship and Eleven Sports Network among others. Most recently, he was CEO of World Lethwei Championship. I hope that members of the community have a chance to meet with him soon to bring Athletics forward.

    Process enhancement (Finance) – SA’s finance and accounting structure has been streamlined, with updates to our procurement SOP and digitalisation of payments at events. We have also reviewed our Opex and found savings of 35% of Operating Costs. This significant undertaking has been led by Ms. Marinda Teo (VP F) and Ms. Belinda Neo (Treasurer).

    Equipment procurement – With savings found from our finance optimisation, we have submitted a request for equipment refresh budget that has been approved, to replace aging or unusable equipment. This has been led by Mr. Joe Yap (VP C) and Ms. Marinda Teo (VP F).

    SA Constitution review – Following from the EOGM in 2020, we have also reviewed the SA constitution for better alignment with the SportSG model constitution, and we will circulate this to Affiliates prior to seeking approval at the upcoming AGM. Mr. Chen Siyuan (MC member) has been instrumental in driving this process.

    HR process enhancement – Our HR processes and policies are also being reviewed to improve outcomes and provide development opportunities for our key Secretariat staff. This was overseen by Mr. Kelvin Ang (Asst Hon Sec) and Ms. Belinda Neo (Treasurer).

    Safe sport officers – SafeGuarding officers reps of both genders have been nominated from across the Athletes’ Commission, Secretariat and MC in order to build greater awareness within the community. Ms. Carine Attan, Ms. Michelle Sng and Ms. Natasha Kang have been appointed, with Mr. Kelvin Ang from the MC also scheduled to attend the course.

    Digitalisation of data resources – Modernising our athlete database and events result was a key initiative, to employ a data driven approach to performance management. We have been exploring different platforms for the most cost-effective solution. Mr. Jonathan Liong (MC Member) and Ms. Marinda Teo (VP F) are working on this piece.

(3) Address Outstanding Legal Issues

    Address outstanding issues – With a mutual desire to progress, some longstanding legal disputes have been resolved. These successes were also reported in the news. We continue to review other outstanding matters within our community and we will clear these over time. Most members of the MC have been involved in different discussions on these issues, with heavy lifting provided by Mr. Chen Siyuan (MC member), and Mr. Nick Poon, our independent legal counsel who has provided sterling services on an almost pro-bono basis.

    Legal costs – As part of our fiduciary duty, we have reviewed the legal costs that SA has incurred in the past 2 years and scrutinised the pricing structure and documentation to ensure they are consistent with fee guidelines set by the Supreme Court.

    Conflict resolution – To systematically address conflicts and issues that may arise, we have engaged prominent members of the Athletics community to establish a Conflict Resolution Committee. The team will be led by Mr. Ang Kwee Tiang and we hope that under his leadership, we can facilitate communication and mutual understanding through mediation and resolve differences before they escalate.

    Going forward, we hope to operate in a spirit of open collaboration and transparent communications within the wider Athletics community!

(4) Looking ahead – Commercialisation and others

    With these foundational measures in place, we are excited to look forward and try to grow the mindshare of our sport to realise its potential. We are glad that recent news of our sport has been positive and focused on you the Athletes / Coaches / TOs (Screenshots of some recent publications are shared below. Credits: Singapore Press Holdings). Thank you for your sweat and hard work to make this possible.

    With a view to growing our capacity, a sub-committee co-led by Mr. Arthur Lin (SA Honorary Secretary) and Mr. Gerald Ng (SA GM) has been set up to focus on commercial objectives that look at commercial partnerships, monetisation, sponsorship and donations. Arthur has been working hard with the team to secure the best opportunities for SA, reviewing contracts, approaching potential donors

    We Look Forward to Your Support!

    While there are still outstanding issues within the athletics community to be resolved, we have quickly addressed some of them and are keeping a strong finger on the pulse of the others. We know much work lies ahead.

    Looking ahead into 2021, as we return to normalcy, the big item on our calendar is SEAG 21 (November), and the various local meets to support it. We have ambitious plans to fund-raise and build commercial partnerships, and also to improve our equipment and pathway development.

    We can do much more only with your help! We continue to count on the support of the community and stakeholders like you to deliver success to our beloved sport.


Appendix 1: Recent Reports on Athletics (Credits: SPH)

Click on the image to enlarge the article.


Appendix 2: Progress Update 100 Day Plan

1. Engage Athletes and SportSG

Meet the national athletes to hear their concerns

Align 2y plan with SportSG

Completed

  • Dialogue with Athletes/Coaches/Parents

https://www.singaporeathletics.org.sg/3rd-athletes-coaches-parents-dialogue-2020

  • SAA Performance Trials

https://www.singaporeathletics.org.sg/2020-sa-performance-trial-2

  • Completed 4th Joint HPS Management Committee (“JMC”) (involving Sport SG, SAA, Singapore Sports School, National Youth Sports Institute)
  • Completed virement, MYSP and budget/grant submission by 30 Oct (within ~1 month of election, without)
  • Finalised SEAG selection criteria
  • Appointed Athletes’ Commission (“AC”) Rep and members
  • Approved SAA Athletes’ Commission Constitution

In Progress

  • Ongoing athletes’ engagement
  • CRM – leverage existing SportSG resources
  • Road to SEAG 2021, T&S Organisation & Processes
  • Plan for Pathway Development
  • Further update events calendar for 2021 (Covid-dependencies)

2. Internal Process / Governance

Review finances and key internal operating processes at SAA

Completed

  • Updated Procurement SOP guide
  • Safe Sport – Nominated SafeGuarding officers reps from across Athletes’ Commission, Secretariat and MC.
  • Streamline finance/accounting structure & processes
  • Digitalization of payment (eg. Automated payment voucher, PayNow for TOs)

In Progress

  • Review SAA Constitution (taking reference from SportSG model constitution)
  • Engagement with National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre / Centre for Non-Profit Leadership for Complimentary Enhanced PulseCheck Assessment
  • Review existing HR/hiring processes
  • Review performance management and provide career development opportunities for Secretariat staff

3. Address Outstanding Legal Issues

Reach out to existing parties for mediation & resolution

Completed

  • Settlement of longstanding disputes

https://www.singaporeathletics.org.sg/press-release-sa-settlement

  • Establish Conflict Resolution Committee

In Progress

  • Review/negotiate existing financial obligations (legal fees-related)
  • Other outstanding legal matters

4. Looking ahead

Additional priorities

Completed

  • Engagement with Technical Officers

https://www.singaporeathletics.org.sg/calling-all-current-and-past-technical-officials

In Progress

  • Establish Commercialisation sub-committee
  • Re-negotiate existing sponsorship agreements (as they fall due)
  • Engage new/potential sponsors
  • Engage new/potential donors
  • Initiate Commercialisation projects
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SA
Founded in 1935, SA's historic footprints began more than 60 years ago when we opened our doors to Singapore's early athletes at the Farrer Park Stadium. Since then, the SA has toiled and grown, and is now poised to chart new territories for the future. Under the helm of a new dynamic team of volunteers and full-time secretariat, the association will take bold strides to nurture talents and work towards a holistic athlete development and making competitive athletics a viable career, read more »
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