New SportSG chairman Kon Yin Tong calls for more interaction between the national agency and NSAs

Kon Yin Tong, who is managing partner of accountancy firm Foo Kon Tan, served as a SportSG (then known as the Singapore Sports Council) council member from 2012 to 2016, before becoming deputy chairman.
Kon Yin Tong, who is managing partner of accountancy firm Foo Kon Tan, served as a SportSG (then known as the Singapore Sports Council) council member from 2012 to 2016, before becoming deputy chairman.PHOTO: FOO KON TAN GRANT THORNTON

SportSG chairman Kon wants stronger interaction between agency and NSAs

Sport Singapore (SportSG) chairman Kon Yin Tong has called for a more "symbiotic" relationship between the national sports agency and the various national sports associations (NSA), as he begins a two-year stint at the helm.

"I mention the NSAs in particular because they are a key component in our local sports ecosystem," said the former SportSG deputy chairman, who replaced Richard Seow as chairman on Oct 1.

"There needs to be a more symbiotic relationship between SportSG and the NSAs, and hopefully they are better engaged to realise Vision 2030.

"SportSG needs to better understand the challenges facing NSAs - each one of them has their own unique issues. NSAs, on the other hand, need to fully understand their role better in the sports ecosystem, and the objectives and targets SportSG are trying to achieve, and how SportSG can help them fulfil their own objectives.

"There are gaps to fill and we need to fill those gaps together, working hand in hand."

Kon, who is managing partner of accountancy firm Foo Kon Tan, served as a SportSG (then known as the Singapore Sports Council) council member from 2012 to 2016, before becomingdeputy chairman.

The 55-year-old has held roles with SportSG as finance committee chairman, and is a member of the Sports Excellence Scholarship selection and approval committee.

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Identifying and nurturing future leaders is key to any organisation, whether in the public sector or private sector.

KON YIN TONG, managing partner of accounting firm Foo Kon Tan and the newly appointed chairman of SportSG, on leadership succession.

He also holds a World Rugby Level 1 coaching certificate and is a volunteer coach - he played the sport as a schoolboy.

Also high on his agenda is ensuring there are effective management succession plans in place, as the agency works towards realising the Vision 2030 sports masterplan.

The Vision 2030 project, which was unveiled in 2011, aims to help Singaporeans lead healthier and happier lives through sport.

"Identifying and nurturing future leaders is key to any organisation, whether in the public sector or private sector," said Kon.

"We must have the confidence that the next leadership group can realise Vision 2030 - Live Better Through Sports, and that they have the confidence to do so."

His predecessor Seow, 56, served four two-year terms from October 2010, and oversaw several major sporting milestones here, such as the opening of the Singapore Sports Hub in 2014 and Joseph Schooling winning Singapore's first Olympic gold medal two years later.

He hailed the "hard work and sacrifice" by those around him in the local sports fraternity for their roles in such achievements.

"While much has been accomplished and key building blocks have been put in place, there is so much more that can be done and will be done to make the value of sport better understood and capitalised by all of us in Singapore," said Seow.

"Having only just stepped off from SportSG, I haven't had much time yet to reflect.

"But my initial thoughts are of gratitude for the opportunity to serve and appreciation for collaborating with some truly outstanding professionals and colleagues."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 10, 2018, with the headline 'Work together to fill gaps: new chief'. Print Edition | Subscribe