Singapore Sports: Toh replaces Gambardella as SSI chief, eyes teamwork

Toh Boon Yi, holding the SEA Games torch, said his team at the Singapore Sports Institute will help him to "continue the strong foundation established... and strengthen Singapore's high-performance pathway".
Toh Boon Yi, holding the SEA Games torch, said his team at the Singapore Sports Institute will help him to "continue the strong foundation established... and strengthen Singapore's high-performance pathway".THE NEW PAPER FILE PHOTO

The Singapore Sports Institute (SSI) announced yesterday that it has appointed Toh Boon Yi as its new chief.

Toh, 48, starts work today and will report to Sport Singapore chief executive officer Lim Teck Yin.

The SSI is an arm of local sports governing body SportSG and supports national athletes with high-performance programmes and pathways.

The Straits Times reported in February that former SSI chief Bob Gambardella would step down after the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Gambardella has been at the helm since 2009 and will return to the United States.

Yesterday, Toh, who joined SportSG in 2012 as chief of its strategic development and marketing group, said in an e-mail statement: "With my SSI team, I will continue the strong foundation established... and be the 'team around the team' (to) strengthen Singapore's high-performance sports pathway."

He added that the SSI will continue to build partnerships between National Sports Associations and corporate Singapore.

An example of this is the Sports Excellence Business Network, established in 2013, which matches national athletes with prospective employers, in the form of internships or job placements.

Another objective would be to raise the level of sports coaching here.

Gambardella's stint saw the high-profile capture of former national swimming coach Sergio Lopez, who stepped down after Rio.

Lopez, a bronze medallist at the 1988 Olympics, helmed a few coaching workshops before his departure.

The SSI was also involved in the hiring of national coach (sprints, relays and hurdles) Luis Cunha.

In his previous role, Toh helped to start several key SportSG initiatives including the SportCares Foundation, the philanthropic arm of SportSG and ActiveSG, a national movement for sport.

National sprinter Calvin Kang, who did a six-month internship in Toh's previous department, said: "He's very hands on, very sharp and overall a very approachable boss. He's also very passionate about sport and cares about athletes.

"The SSI has offered a more holistic sports science support for athletes over the years and I'm looking forward to working with them."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 07, 2016, with the headline 'Toh replaces Gambardella as SSI chief, eyes teamwork'. Print Edition | Subscribe