1. Tell us more about yourself and your volleyball life.
I am a late bloomer, if you like, was a high jumper in secondary school who enjoyed playing volleyball for fun with my friends. In 1993, at age 18, I was spotted by the then National Head Coach, Mr. Shen Keqin to join the national training squad after the 17th SEA Games.
As I got better, I found myself constantly looking for more opportunities to play albeit training five times a week with the national training squad. I was that hungry! I remembered calling Tampines East CSC to ask to join them as I watched them playing in the inter-constituency games final in 1993. That was how I played for Tampines East CSC for many years. In addition to that, I also made arrangements to train with the Singapore Polytechnic IVP team on Sunday to “feed” my insatiable desire to play volleyball. I trained with the indoor national training squad from 1993 to 1999.
I was introduced to beach volleyball in 2003 and fell in love with the physically challenging and demanding discipline. I switched from volleyball to beach volleyball and represented Singapore from 2000 to 2006.
As the love for the sport grew, between 2002 till 2006 I took up FIVB Level 1 coaching course, FIVB setter course in Thailand, National referee candidate course, etc. I started coaching in 2003 and had taught schools like CHIJ Toa Payoh, Victoria School, Hai Sing Catholic, Queenstown Sec School, etc. Currently, I am one of the two coaches with Nanyang Girls High School volleyball teams.
In August 2018, I was approached to re-join the VAS Council (my second stint as I was with the VAS back in 2001 to 2003). Knowing that there are a few younger and passionate new council members who were also being approached, I decided to take the leap of faith and re-join the Council.
2. What are you doing to contribute to volleyball in Singapore?
I really enjoy coaching as I feel it is a great way to help groom the next generation of volleyballers in Singapore. I am currently coaching Nanyang Girls High and I hope to impart my knowledge and also share my experience with the younger generation.
My role within the Council is the Treasurer and I was also asked to look after the beach volleyball high performance teams and athletes. The Council believes that there should be dedicated council members fo each volleyball and beach volleyball, both rolling up to VP (High Performance), so as to eliminate any rivalry and/or perceived inequality in resource allocation. In this additional role, I worked closely with the current National Beach Volleyball head coach in planning the training and competition plans for the beach volleyball high performance athletes. We are also looking at how we can develop the youth pipeline for beach volleyball. Beach volleyball is not a school game like many other sports, so it is more challenging to get younger children exposed to this discipline of volleyball.
3. What will you do to encourage more volleyballers to contribute in their own ways, to give back to the sport?
As I am coaching, I do walk the ground and engage volleyballers/ex-volleyballers during games and school competitions. I often share with players, coaches and officials how they can individually and collectively contribute to the success of Singapore Volleyball.
I believe many in the fraternity look forward to progressively higher level of play locally and that translating to good performance for the high performance athletes in regional and continental competitions. Everyone has a part to play for us to achieve this vision. The fraternity getting more involved and supportive of the Association are also important. We are a volunteer-run organisation, and all we ask for is everyone’s support to help make volleyball better. If you believe you have better ideas and ability to execute, we welcome you with open arms.
I believe that with the good progress that we are now seeing with the Association, people from the fraternity will be more willing to come forward and help with developing the sport.