1. Tell us more about yourself and your volleyball life
I represented my primary school in badminton and took up the same sport in secondary school. However, due to low participation rate for badminton, the CCA was closed down. I was introduced to volleyball during Physical Education class and was told to join the selection trial for the school volleyball team and that started my journey with the sport.
I went on to represent Yuhua Secondary School, ITE, IVP and also represented Taman Jurong CSC, Hong Kah CSC, and for my formation during national service. During my national service, I attended the Volleyball Association of Singapore (VAS’s) NCAP L1 Technical coaching course. In May 1997, I also attended and completed Volleyball Referee Course by the then Singapore Sports Council and VAS, and started officiating at local volleyball matches.
I started playing beach volleyball in 1997 with a bunch of seniors from school Beach Volleyball was relatively new in Singapore then.
I was also a coach with National Junior College and Saint Andrew Junior College from 2001 to 2003.
2. What are you doing to contribute to volleyball in Singapore?
I stopped officiating in 2008 due to work but continued playing both volleyball and beach volleyball recreationally.
In 2018, Singapore hosted the FIVB 2 Star Beach Volleyball Tournament and I was asked to help out at the event. I was tasked to be the Court Manager and learnt a lot from the experience, such as setting up the beach court, ensuring the correct dimensions, getting the playing surface ready, etc. I also learnt a lot about the logistical considerations to ensure the entire event ran smoothly.
Involvement in the FIVB event re-ignited my passion and prompted me to want to give back to the sport that played a big part of my growing years. Subsequently, I volunteered to assist in the running of the National Beach Series. In Oct 2018, I completed the National Beach Referee Volleyball Course organised by VAS and started officiating again, albeit with beach volleyball.
In Feb 2019, I was approached by the VAS Council to help with Officials Development. After some serious consideration, and taking a leap-of-faith, I took on the role of Vice President (Officials Development). I hope to build up the capabilities and professionalism of volleyball officials in Singapore!
3. What will you do to encourage more volleyballs to contribute in their own ways to give back to the sport?
Over the last 20 years, the game has changed dramatically! Volleyball is now played at a much faster pace and the availability of technology also resulted in almost-instant video support in the game. Our technical officials need to keep pace with the gameplay and the expectation of almost perfect calls, which demands experience and familiarity with the rules of the game.
Technical officials are an integral part of volleyball. Most of the senior officials have more than 30 years of experience. I encourage some of our volleyballers to take up the challenge to train as technical officials, so we can progressively build up our local pool of technical officials.
Every year we have junior officials graduating from technical official courses and embark on their officiating journey. I hope senior technical officials have patience and guide them along. I will also like to see our technical officials taking their roles professionally, and our athletes giving the technical officials the due respect. Admittedly, this is a cycle and everyone within the fraternity plays a part in making it a constructive and seamless one.