Mission accomplished for Dr Tan
SingaporeSailing chief reflects on eight-year tenure which ends today
As his eight-year tenure as Singapore Sailing Federation (SSF)'s president draws to a close today, Dr Ben Tan can look back without any regrets.
The 50-year-old is satisfied with what he has achieved since taking over from veteran sports administrator Low Teo Ping in 2010.
Tan, an Asian Games and four-time SEA Games sailing champion, leaves behind not only a legacy of many medals, but he can also take pride in the intangibles too.
Tan, who was elected as one of Singapore National Olympic Council vice-presidents earlier this month, said: "After eight years, I'm proud to say that I'm very happy with our performance. The management and sailors have delivered.
"I'm happy to step down because I have no unfinished business. I did what I was supposed to do, that's why I'm ready to step down."
He was speaking at Monti at 1-Pavilion at Collyer Quay yesterday, where the SSF unveiled their 15 sailors who will be taking part in the Asian Games in Indonesia from Aug 18 to Sept 2.
Singapore's sailors have earned praise for their winning feats, but one thing Tan has constantly stressed on is humility.
For the sailing chief, it is important that his sailors regard their competitors with equal respect.
If they win a race, Tan insists that the sailors thank the race officer before waiting for the second boat to congratulate them, instead of heading back to shore to celebrate.
I'm happy to step down because I have no unfinished business.SingaporeSailing chief Dr Ben Tan
The medical doctor believes that having the right values will translate to success, saying: "We inculcate positive values from the start.
"In order to groom successful sailors, the values must be there to last until you get there, there's no such thing as instant results."
Developing sailors' character is done through sessions where they assess real-life situations and are taught values related to them.
While Tan believes that he has achieved his goals, he also feels that getting higher participation rates is an area to work on, something his successor Lincoln Chee will work on.
He said: "Our system is such that it rewards high performance, but for survival of the sport, it's high participation that matters.
"If you have a strong base, the top will take care of itself. Now we need to put even more effort in high participation because that base is being eroded."