Treat sailing as a career, urges SSF chief
Wanted: Singaporeans who would treat sailing as a career, not as a stepping stone to one.
Singapore Sailing Federation (SSF) president Benedict Tan said that as they continue to improve their systems towards Olympic success, sailors of such longevity are needed as well.
"Very few people, even the talented ones, get an Olympic medal in their first attempt," said Tan, on the sidelines of SSF's gala dinner at Sentosa's One15 Marina last night.
"The majority of them win medals in their third, or fourth or fifth campaign onwards.
"It would be stupid to assume that we can do otherwise."
However, he acknowledged that not many here would commit eight years or more to achieve Olympic success, after taking about 15 years to even get to that top level.
The former national sailor said: "Our sailors have to think about sailing as a career, not a stepping stone."
He added that professional sailing is a very viable career at the top level, even if work and pay cheques may not be constant at the start.
GET TO THE TOP
If sailors are talented and willing, the SSF's evolving high-performance systems will help them get to the top.
Tan said the contingent of 10 sailors at last year's Rio Olympics, Singapore's largest-ever, is a sign that the Republic's sailing systems are producing and honing talent.
But he would not be drawn into predicting when Singapore will finally win that elusive first Olympic medal.
Tan said: "The important thing is that we keep getting closer and closer; as long as we make small incremental gains, I am happy.
"What we mustn't do is to go backwards, or one step forward, two steps back." - LIM SAY HENG
SINGAPORE SAILING AWARDS
- Sailor of the Year: Colin Cheng (above)
- Team of the Year: Xu Yuanzhen, Stanley Chan, Joe Chan, Colin Ng, Derek Chan
- Rookie of the Year: Darrell Lim
- Club Coach of the Year: Melvin Huang
- Volunteer of the Year: Tay Wei Jie
- Official of the Year: Charlene Zhu
- Club/Marina of the Year: One15 Marina