Updates in Singapore’s Triathlon, Table Tennis, and Athletics Associations


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Various National Sports Associations held their annual general meetings (AGMs) over the weekend of 25-27 September, announcing changes and plans for the year ahead.


Held over online videoconferencing means due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Triathlon Association of Singapore announced a new executive committee and management committee that will lead the sports association for the next term running from 2020 to 2022.

Two members of the previous term’s management committee were elected to the executive committee: Paul Rachmadi is the association’s new president, while James Middleditch will be serving as deputy president. Other changes to the board include Raymond Chong as honorary secretary, Denise Wong as assistant honorary secretary, and Yu Kok Chew as honorary treasurer.

David Hoong steps down

Former president David Hoong formally stepped down from the association after serving for the past 28 years. Hoong served and contributed to the development of triathlons in Singapore, including working the ground with Singapore’s triathletes to better support them in terms of funding and coaching.

For his dedication and service, Hoong was bestowed the honour of Honorary Life President of Triathlon Singapore at the AGM.

Table tennis

Ellen Lee ran unopposed and was elected president of the Singapore Table Tennis Association (STTA) for her fourth and final term at the virtual biennial general meeting.

Seven newcomers were also elected to the new committee, including Minister of Parliament Poh Li San of Sembawang GRC, who will serve as co-deputy president with Teo Nam Meng.

Local talent at forefront of table tennis

Lee’s immediate plan as continuing president will be to develop local talent that will represent Singapore at major Games. Last year’s SEA Games in the Philippines saw the country’s first all-Singaporean born men’s team competing at the Games since 1997.

Lee also wants to improve communication with national athletes and their parents through an STTA app, as well as enhance governance compliance with policy rules.

“With the plans and proposals my team has planned, I believe that table tennis… will attract more new players, more fans and [we will improve the] ease of communication to spread news quickly,” she said.


Gojek’s general manager Lien Choong Luen has been elected president of Singapore Athletics (SA) for the next two years. His win comes at a crushing defeat of Edmond Pereira in votes numbering 14-3 in Lien’s favour at the association’s AGM on 25 September.

This is Pereira’s fourth loss for the bid of the job. He previously also ran for president in 1984, 2000, and 2016 with his team of nine called TeamSGP Athletics.

Lien’s win is attributed to his own team of nine — Team Ground Up. The entire slate garnered at least 14 of the 17 valid votes to form SA’s new management committee.

Team Ground Up’s diverse appeal

Part of the appeal of Team Ground Up was its diversity. Team Ground Up is made up of members of five clubs: Club Zoom, Wings Athletics Club, Singapore Masters Track & Field Association, Swift Athletes Association, and Red Hawk Sports Club. Pereira’s bested team only featured candidates from Flash Athletics Club and Singapore Masters Athletics.

For Akira Takahashi, president of the Red Hawk Sports Club, the diverse candidates were what set Lien’s team apart. “If you have a committee comprising members from many clubs, you will know the various views and concerns, and this can help in deciding what is the best way to do things,” he said.

Distance running coach Steven Quek was also impressed by the team’s willingness and dedication to work the ground. “These guys went around meeting stakeholders — affiliates, coaches, officials, athletes — and humbly gathered information and feedback,” he said.

$100,000 plan in motion

Lien said that he and his team were “humbled and grateful” by the support they received but understands that their work is cut out for them in leading SA to greater heights.

His team had managed to secure $100,000 in donations to get their plans going if elected. These include building more access and development support, competition opportunities, athlete management and strengthening governance. Lien also wants to turn institutes of higher learning into regional training centres, and to provide coaches for athletes that are still schooling.

Lien also hopes to meet and work with Pereira soon, citing “[getting] the best of everybody’s efforts” as motivation to move the sport forward.

Bringing harmony to SA

The new team shines hope on SA, which has faced disharmony over legal proceedings with marathoner Soh Rui Yong and other negative headlines over numerous internal spats. The lack of agreement has affected athletes’ performances, as seen in last year’s SEA Games. The team failed to win a single gold medal for the first time since 1991.




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