Singapore Sports: SNOC's new book casts light on unsung officials

The late law minister E.W. Barker features in Rings of Stars and Crescent.
The late law minister E.W. Barker features in Rings of Stars and Crescent.ST FILE PHOTO

Sports officials take centre stage in the Singapore National Olympic Council's (SNOC) new book, Rings of Stars and Crescent: 70 years of the Olympic Movement in Singapore.

As the council marks its 70th anniversary this year, the book charts the past seven decades of Singapore's sporting achievements, with the spotlight on the officials who made it all happen.

SNOC secretary-general Chris Chan felt that it was as good a time as any to document the council's history. He added: "This is a good chance to showcase our achievements and acknowledge some of the people who have worked behind the scenes."

Some of the officials who were mentioned in the book include the late SNOC president and law minister, E.W. Barker, and its former secretary-general S.S. Dhillon.

For author Peh Shing Huei, the book is also an attempt to unravel the roots of the council.

Said the former Straits Times sports journalist and news editor: "I'm a very big sports fan myself, and I thought it was important for us to remember the history of Singapore's own Olympic council, its inception and purpose."

However, according to Peh, gathering information for the book was akin to piecing together "a giant old jigsaw puzzle" without a guide, especially since a fire in 1985 at the Sports House at Farrer Park - where the SNOC was previously housed - had incinerated many of the past records.

He spent many hours looking through old correspondence in the Olympic Studies Centre in Lausanne, Switzerland. Peh also sought the help of Dhillon to point him in the right directions.

While the book is focused mainly on officials, one of the athletes featured is Commonwealth Games gold medallist Jasmine Ser.

The 26-year-old shooter was quick to pay tribute to the unsung heroes behind the scenes, saying: "Without the constant presence and support of these officials, we athletes definitely won't be able to reach our goals.

"By remembering the pioneers and how far we have come, this record will surely help to inspire the future generations."

Rings of Stars and Crescent will be launched at the SNOC's anniversary dinner cum Singapore Sports Awards next Tuesday.

While not for sale, a soft copy of the book will be available on the SNOC official website for readers to download.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 03, 2017, with the headline 'SNOC's new book casts light on unsung officials'. Print Edition | Subscribe