SAA's high performance chief Asmah Hanim resigns
The Singapore Athletic Association's (SAA) chief of high performance Asmah Hanim has tendered her resignation for "personal reasons", less than a year after being appointed.
The 31-year-old former sprinter took up the post in March last year, and officially started work on April 21.
Asmah's resignation does not come at a helpful time, with the South-east Asia (SEA) Games to be held here in June.
In a statement put up on the SAA website yesterday, athletics chief Tang Weng Fei said: "Asmah has tendered her resignation citing personal reasons and we respect her decision.
"We would like to thank Asmah for her services rendered to SAA and we wish her well in her future endeavours.
"As for our SEA Games preparations, we are pleased with the progress thus far and SAA will continue to ensure adequate support is given to athletes as we enter the final phase of our preparations.
"Moving forward, we also have in place a few key initiatives that will be announced in the coming months that will see Singapore athletics move in the right direction."
Asmah could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Last March, she was selected from among seven candidates - five of them foreigners in their 50s - to take the post which veteran coach Loh Chan Pew had vacated two months earlier.
She was tasked with enhancing the development and high-performance support for athletes and coaches.
While some in the athletics fraternity had pointed to her relative youth as a handicap in a position traditionally headed by experienced individuals, she disagreed.
She told TNP then: "I do not see my age as a disadvantage as age brings new perspectives. Perspectives create change."
She does not hold a coaching certificate from the world athletics body - the International Association of Athletics Federations - but has a Masters' degree in exercise and sports science (Sports Performance).
Before accepting the role with the SAA, she was a sports science research specialist at Raffles Institution.