Floorball: Singapore's women's floorball coach Louise Khng leaves on high

Louise Khng, 37, head coach of the national women's floorball team, being thrown in the air by her players while holding her appreciation trophy during Singapore Floorball Association's appreciation lunch at Our Tampines Hub yesterday. Khng took up t
Louise Khng, 37, head coach of the national women's floorball team, being thrown in the air by her players while holding her appreciation trophy during Singapore Floorball Association's appreciation lunch at Our Tampines Hub yesterday. Khng took up the role in July 2017 on a voluntary basis. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

A month after guiding Singapore's women's floorball team to the SEA Games gold medal and a 12th-placed finish at the Women's World Floorball Championship - their best result since 2011 - head coach Louise Khng has stepped down.

Khng, who also led the Republic to the Asia Oceania Floorball Confederation (AOFC) Cup title in 2018, said she wanted to focus on her career as a lecturer at Nanyang Polytechnic and other aspects of her life.

The 37-year-old, who was previously the assistant coach, took up the main role in July 2017 and was doing it on a voluntary basis.

The Singapore Floorball Association is searching for a suitable replacement and said the earliest an appointment will be made is April.

When the national team resume training later this month, the squad of about 20 players will train on their own.

It is a relatively quiet year for the women's national side with only one major tournament, the AOFC Cup in July.

While Khng, a former national player, delivered silverware as head coach, those moments are bonuses to her. Her greatest achievement, she said yesterday, is moulding the team into a cohesive unit over the past two-and-a-half years.

"I wanted to build a positive team culture where players could count on each other, whether it was on or off court," she said.

"It was a good investment because what they have achieved last year is a testament to that."

Seeing some of the younger players come through and perform at international tournaments is also something she is also proud of.

Khng expressed her gratitude towards her coaching team and officials, who are also volunteers, and hopes the team will build on their success in the coming years.

Captain Michelle Lok and vice-captain Debbie Poh paid tribute to Khng, saying she had gone beyond her duties as a coach to help them, recalling how she sometimes paid for team bonding sessions from her own pocket.

Poh said: "She really cares about the team a lot and has done things for us, not just in floorball but everything else, so it's sad that she has stepped down."

Lok added: "She's more than a coach, she's a friend to all of us. She has brought the team closer together and we're very appreciative for what she has done."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 13, 2020, with the headline 'Women's floorball coach Khng leaves on a high'. Print Edition | Subscribe