SINGAPORE - Former national youth paddler Toh Kian Lam has unveiled the make-up of his nine-member team for the Singapore Table Tennis Association's (STTA) biennial general election, which must be called by Sept 30.
It is the first time in at least 10 years that the top post will be contested, with incumbent STTA president Ellen Lee confirming in March that she plans to stand for a third term.
During a press conference on Saturday (Aug 11) at the Singapore Sports Hub, Toh revealed that his team of nine are called Team 3H. The three Hs stand for heads, hearts and hands, referring to the team's expertise, passion and hands-on nature respectively.
Besides himself as the presidential candidate, the others include:
- Eric Fong, business development director of Siemens PLM Software
- Patricia Kim, senior regional credit and collections manager (APAC) of Medtronic
- Ow Chee Chung, chief executive officer of Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital
- Andrew Tan, managing director of ATT Systems Group
- Bernard Tan, director of Miharu Food's Singapore
- Marcus Tan, chief executive officer of AIQ (an artificial intelligence and computer vision company)
- Terry Tan, managing director of Copytron Technologies and a former deputy president of the STTA
- Wu Xiaowen , director of Lexton Law Corporation.
Toh also revealed the team's plans during the press conference.
He said that he would seek to professionalise the STTA if elected. His team would also develop an all-inclusive table tennis programme (which will include para athletes for instance) and revise the association's constitution on full memberships.
Toh, who had announced his intention to contest the election in February, added: "Most importantly, each (athlete) must have an individualised (training) plan so that we can monitor them accordingly."
The team's long-term high performance targets include winning at least three golds at the 2022 Commonwealth Games and a medal at the 2026 Asian Games, culminating in clinching a medal at the 2028 Olympic Games.
Said Toh, a former Singapore Sports Council executive: "If we get elected, credit for performances in 2019 and 2020 should not be attributed to us. The test will be what comes after 2020. We are using these two years to build the foundation to ensure that we are giving our deserving talents the right training and competition so that they can improve faster and progress further.
"For every athlete to really perform well, meaning Olympic standards, it would take at least eight to 10 years... this is our target."
Former national paddler Kim, one of the nine members of the team, felt it was the "opportune time" for her to return to the table tennis fraternity.
"I would like to be able to share the experiences that I gained during my competitive days," said Kim, who won the women's singles title at the 1985 SEA Games, the last local-born player to do so.
"I achieved (the 1985 SEA Games women's singles gold) through years of hard work and of course support from all the coaches. I believe our local-born (paddlers) can do as well, if not better. What we need to do is nurture them to give them the opportunity, just like what table tennis gave me 33 years ago. "