1. Tell us more about yourself and your volleyball life.
I was educated in National Taiwan Normal University (国立台湾师范大学) and returned to Singapore in 1982. Upon my return, I was posted to the then-Whampoa Secondary School and was the teacher-in-charge of volleyball. As Whampoa Secondary was then the national convenor for Volleyball, and as the teacher-in-charge I was also responsible for organising National Schools’ games for volleyball. We were also required to help out as match officials then. That is how my journey as a match official started.
In 1984 I enrolled for the match officials’ course organised by the Volleyball Association of Singapore (VAS) and qualified as a local match official. In 1990, I signed up for the International Referee course in Korea, and qualified as an international (FIVB) match official in 1993 after fulfilling my match officiating pre-requisites and officially qualified as an international volleyball match official in 1993. I was part of the volleyball match officials’ contingent for the 1993 South East Asian (SEA) Games in Singapore where our very own Singapore Men’s team won the historic bronze medal in that edition of the SEA Games. I officially stepped down as an international referee in 2011 but continued to officiate games locally such as the yearly National Championships and National Schools Games.
2. What are you doing to contribute to volleyball in Singapore?
I feel that my contributions are really in the space of match officiating over the last 30 years. I am still active in the local volleyball scene and passing down (hopefully) years of officiating experiences to the younger generation of match officials. I was also involved in officiating duties for the Asean Schools Games locally and overseas and in the 2010 Youth Olympic Games in Singapore. I hope to continue contributing to Singapore Volleyball as a match official so as long as my eyesight and health permit me to do so.
3. What will you do to encourage more volleyballers to contribute in their own ways, to give back to the sport?
First and foremost, I hope to see that athletes, coaches and match officials demonstrating respect for one another on and off the courts. Athletes, coaches and officials are the 3 key pillars of the game and each of us are doing our part and for the love of the game. It is important that we demonstrate respect for the role of each of us play.
I will like to see the younger match officials stepping up and continuously upgrading and improving themselves. Match officials are an important part of the Volleyball ecosystem and only when our match officials continuously improve themselves and keep abreast of the developments in the rules and regulations of the game, that we can play the important role in helping to upgrade the local volleyball scene.
I remember the days when the game was played differently, like scoring only on serve (service over, we used to called that), serve contacting the net was a fault, contact below the waist was a fault, etc. These are examples how the game of volleyball had changed over the years and it will continue to evolve. It is extremely important that match officials are well versed with the developments in the game so they can play their fundamental role well – manage the game! I also hope to see local officials getting more opportunities to upgrade themselves and challenging themselves to qualify to officiate at regional/ international matches. We do not have many regional (AVC) and international (FIVB) referees in Singapore so I hope to see the younger generation of officials having the desire to take on the challenge to be certified as Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC)/ FIVB match officials.
There is a tendency for good players to congregate into a single team. I guess it is also human instinct (for the team managers and coaches) to try to get the best available players into their team. I thought this may not be healthy for the sport. I will like to see a more even distribution of players across the different clubs in Singapore so they can help elevate the play across these different clubs, and make the local competitions more exciting.
Last but not least, I hope that players yearn to don the national colours, either at ASG level, age group level or senior team level. The opportunity to play for the nation is the greatest honour any athlete can aim for and I will like to see more of that desire from our volleyball athletes. As a fraternity, we all hope to see the national flag flying high in regional volleyball competitions, and if we can dream, on the international stage!