SGA presidential hopeful Tan targets golf for the masses
Make golf accesible to public, set new programmes for primary school kids, says candidate Ross
Next Wednesday, Ross Tan will be hoping it is his name that is read out when the Singapore Golf Association (SGA) elects its new president at its Annual General Meeting (AGM).
Tan wants to get back to basics to take the sport forward.
Ross, who is a member of the SGA's executive committee and also captain of Jurong Country Club, is vying with veteran sports administrator Low Teo Ping to succeed outgoing president Bob Tan, who has served the maximum of three two-year terms.
Both candidates will get their chance to make a presentation to the 13-member governing council at the AGM before the election takes place.
Ross, who believes his previous experience as a member of the SGA's executive committee will help his case, is aware that there will always be pressure to deliver medal-winning athletes.
However, he believes the only way to eventually reach that target is by starting right at the bottom and making golf accessible to everybody.
"If given the opportunity to be president of the SGA, I would like to look at finding the right formula to make golf approachable for the masses," he told The New Paper recently.
"Let's not talk about winning gold medals - because if you don't do the work on the ground, we won't get there.
"If we do it right, we'll achieve just that.
"But it's about getting down to the ground and I feel the SGA can do more to engage the public.
"Look at the Thais winning on the Asian and European Tours… Do you think it came from nowhere?
"The government has made golf more accessible to the man on the street but the obvious breeding ground is the primary schools, where it is currently not an introduced sport.
"If we can introduce some programmes and, out of 5,000 pupils, you find 30 to 50 who really get into it, that's where you plant the seeds."
Ross, who exuded a calm confidence when asked about his prospects of getting elected, also believes the SGA should be making use of the various multimedia tools to broaden its reach.
The 59-year-old businessman added: "With the way the digital world is, one should simply go on the SGA website, look at what's there, click on the relevant icon and it should lead you to where you want to go.
"This is one area we can be very prominent in and we should make the SGA a tool where parents who want their children to pick up golf can easily find information on how to do just that.
"We should be looking to make use of these new platforms and work closely with the schools and the MOE (Ministry of Education) to convince them that the SGA is here to provide support."
He also reserved praise for Bob Tan for his leadership over the past six years.
"Both Ross and Teo Ping are excellent candidates with the right credentials," Bob Tan told TNP.
"Now it's up to them to pitch their manifestos and for the chairmen to decide and vote.
"It's important whoever comes in is passionate and committed to taking golf to the next level and I believe both of them are."