Athletics: Jamie Cheong takes up new role at Singapore Athletics

Jaime Cheong, who was the head coach of the national women's floorball team, will join Singapore Athletics as its sports development and performance manager.
Jaime Cheong, who was the head coach of the national women's floorball team, will join Singapore Athletics as its sports development and performance manager. PHOTO: JAMIE CHEONG

Singapore Athletics (SA) has hired a floorball coach to be its new sports development and performance manager.

Jamie Cheong, who has helmed the national women's floorball team for the past two years, will assume the responsibility of managing SA's overseas training and its internal carding system.

A former national floorball player, the 34-year-old - who led the women's team to a SEA Games gold last year - will also assist vice-president C. Kunalan in recommending athletes to the national team.

She told The Straits Times: "When I spoke to SA, I found that there was an opportunity to develop youth and there were lots of plans in place for the future, so I wanted to be a part of that.

"The floorball head-coach role wasn't a full-time job, so I wasn't getting paid except for a small allowance before the SEA Games."

After guiding her team to qualify for last year's Women's World Floorball Championships in Finland - where they finished last out of 16 countries - Cheong also felt she had met her targets.

"When I joined the Singapore Floorball Association (SFA), the goal was to get the team to qualify for the World Championships, which they did," she said.

While the SFA wishes her the best in her new role, her presence will be missed.

Said former national floorball captain Sri Syafizah Safii: "She was a great and dedicated coach who always put herself in the shoes of players and put the team first, both on and off the court, so I think it is a loss that she is leaving."

SFA president Sani Mohamed Salim added: "The players under her have developed and improved. We have been very fortunate to have her and I think SA will benefit greatly from her experience."

Damon Yong, SA's general manager, believes that Cheong is the right person for the job, despite coming in from a different sport.

Said Yong, who is currently serving notice after resigning from SA on Feb 1: "Certain skills, such as the judgment needed to select members of the national team, are portable, regardless of the sport.

"Her background as a sports administrator coupled with her knowledge in sports science and medicine will also be useful to us. She will be able to see things in a fresh perspective and bring something new to Singapore athletics."

Vanessa Kang

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 05, 2016, with the headline 'Cheong takes up new role at Singapore Athletics'. Print Edition | Subscribe