Time to develop, rejuvenate table-tennis teams

The Singapore Table Tennis Association (STTA) is grateful for the support from Ms Tan Hui Wen ("STTA decision about allocation of scarce resources"; Monday) and Mr Lee Teck Chuan ("Respect table-tennis body's decision"; Tuesday).

We assure them and our supporters that we are committed to developing a new generation of accomplished athletes and producing more winners on the world stage.

STTA will always put Singapore's interests first.

STTA will not stop Feng Tianwei from representing Singapore at the International Table Tennis Federation World Tours if she qualifies ("Feng Tianwei's exclusion: Paddler still has much to contribute" by Mr Jeff Tan Hong Liak; Monday).

However, Mr Tan would understand that we cannot stop Feng if she chooses to represent another country.

After the Rio Olympics, it is time for STTA to develop, rejuvenate and refresh our teams.

Bold moves are needed if we are interested in challenging the top table-tennis nations for honours, and we need to place greater emphasis on the development of our youth.

STTA started the intermediate squad last year to develop high potential local athletes for progression into the national team.

We will be promoting more local talents into the intermediate squad and eventually to the national team, to help increase the base of talents who can represent Singapore at major games.

Meanwhile, Yu Mengyu, Zhou Yihan, Lin Ye and Zeng Jian will be able to lead the national team for the next two Olympics cycle. This will also give STTA four to eight years to groom the next generation of athletes.

We urge Singaporeans who have put their belief and trust in us to continue to support us.

Wong Hui Leng (Ms)

Chief Executive

Singapore Table Tennis Association

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 04, 2016, with the headline 'Time to develop, rejuvenate table-tennis teams'. Print Edition | Subscribe