Floorball association names interim president and GM
As investigation of former president continues, SFA appoints interim chief and GM
They were hit hard when their president, Sani Mohamad Salim, stepped down on May 17 after he came under investigation for alleged misappropriation of funds.
But, after an Extraordinary General Meeting (EOGM) at the Sports Information and Resource Centre at the Singapore Sports Hub yesterday, the Singapore Floorball Association (SFA) is taking the first steps to recovery.
Attended by 50 affiliates and management committee members, the meeting saw current management committee member Kenneth Ho appointed as SFA's interim president, with Sport Singapore's Todd Vladich being seconded to the association as general manager.
A former Singapore Hockey Federation (SHF) general manager, Vladich's appointment is for six months, and is aimed at resolving ongoing issues and implementing administrative and financial systems and processes.
Ho will serve until the next SFA AGM, which can take only place after the organisation's accounts are put in order.
"We're taking baby steps at the start to try and work on regaining the trust of the fraternity. There are several things we want to do, and they are all important, and none has priority," said Vladich, who was speaking to the media after the hour-long meeting yesterday.
"(To get the house in order in) six months is optimistic, but it depends on other factors.
"For some areas, we have to wait for the police to release certain documents. We can't close the gap yet, but there are other things that we can work on."
While trust appears to be Ho and Vladich's philosophical baseline, financial governance is the major operational change that needs to be implemented.
While the house is being cleaned up, sporting activities must continue, with Ho asserting that the National Floorball League that is scheduled to kick off in August must go ahead, with floorball also featuring at the Singapore National Games.
"The fraternity is very appreciative of Todd's help and they are very supportive in terms of offering their help - pro-bono - to help us get out of this situation," said Ho, who holds a full-time job in the insurance sector and has been in the SFA management committee since 2011, overseeing coaching development as well as competition matters.
The SFA enjoyed a sensational South-east Asia Games last year, with both the men and women's team striking gold on home soil, backed by the local fraternity turning out in force to show their support.
But the sport crashed down to earth a mere 11 months after the high of the Games.
It came to light that the SFA had failed to submit audited accounts to SportSG and, as a result, saw its annual funding halted.
To exacerbate matters, the SFA has yet to repay the International Floorball Federation a loan amounting to 23,000 Swiss francs ($32,000).
Singapore have qualified for the floorball world championships on three occasions - 1996, 2010 and 2012 - and will fly the flag again at this year's tournament in Latvia.
SFA's money woes mean that the team will have to raise money to fund the trip there, but this is not new, having done the same in 2012.
Vladich and Ho are exploring various avenues to raise funds, including setting up a separate bank account for the national team so financial governance could still be observed even as they work to build trust.
"We want to start afresh and garner the trust of the fraternity. There are some issues we don't want to dwell on. We'd like to turn the page and move forward," said Vladich, who has been with SportSG for more than 10 years, working with various national sports associations (NSA) in matters of planning, funding and athlete development.
The SFA hopes to retain the position of general manager after Vladich's six-month contract, while also preparing to gain charity status so that they can resume receiving funding.
SportSG required all NSAs to register as charities by January 2011 before being conferred Institution of Public Character (IPC) status. Only NSAs that meet these requirements are eligible for SportSG funding.
"There is no point dwelling on the past. We welcome these changes at the association and I'm happy that SportSG has come on board to help us get our association in order," said national player Brandon Cheong, who attended last night's meeting.
"I am relieved that the sport is getting back on track."