Posted by Ee Goh at Thursday, 19 January 2017 18:54:26 as part of the Sport Work Expereince Module held at the Singapore Institute of Management.
The visit to the Singapore Sports Institute (SSI) was to provide both a better understanding of sports and the types of sports related jobs in Singapore. With Vision 2030, Singapore identifies the importance of sport in progressing the national priorities of developing the people and bonding the communities. Sport can convey the skill sets necessary to achieve success and upward progression in life, as well as, help individuals lead happier, healthier lifestyles. The vision is about encouraging people to live better lives through sports. I feel that it is definitely a remarkable step for the country to plan and dedicate a commitment way ahead of the future as long term planning requires skillful forecasting and is absolutely difficult to implement.
Richard Gordan, Head of High Performance Sports of SSI, began his presentation with a brief introduction to his background and career in the sports industry and how it took unexpected turns. “Do something you are passionate about and you will find your way,” Gordan said to explain that as long as we work hard towards our passion, things will fall into place. He also mentioned that the fruits of his labour only came about 8 to 12 years later.
Gordan made me realise that it takes a whole lot of courage and believing in the process just to observe the outcome of your commitment and passion years later, as the saying goes, great things take time. I will certainly remind myself often that even when the outcome can yet to be seen, always focus on keeping your passion burning and take risks!
We were then brought on a tour around the SSI which showcased the well appointed facilities such as the gym, nutrition lab, altitude room and sports biomechanics laboratory to serve carded athletes for training and performance purposes.
Banners showing the usage of sports biomechanics for development and enhancement
There have been a distinct improvement in the facilities since I last visited SSI in 2014. I am pleasantly surprised at how SSI has changed over 3 years. Previously, some of the equipment were not set up yet and the altitude room was empty without any furniture displayed.
Other than improving the facilities, SSI also placed emphasis on improving athletes’ performance with the aid of these facilities. For example, it invested in an equipment used in sports rehabilitation as seen during the tour, an anti- gravity treadmill to push athletes’ physical therapy rehabilitation and allowing them to train further than ever before.
Currently, Singapore has the hardware (facilities) but facilities themselves do not make high performance sports even though they help assist. Our country needs more software (e.g. coaches) in years to come as there will be an increase in the number of sports clubs which leads to an increase in demand for coaches and coach education. There are also more young people out there making deliberate choices to be coaches. Through this visit, I am able to understand the significance of support offered by SSI for the carded athletes and the insights of practical working environment in the sports venue of the future. If given a chance in the future, I would love to work in SSI and make a difference and impact in the nation and athletes’ lives. I am now more motivated to do well and work towards my dream of being a physiotherapist!