Sent to TODAY, February 1, 2010
I read with sadness the passing away of Mr Tan Eng Yoon. I am impressed to hear the testimonies of great athletes like C. Kunalan, Mani Jegathesan and others about how they were motivated to train and perform because of him (TODAY, Sports 39, 1 Feb 2010) These athletes have achieved greatness for Singapore at a time when sports does not pay and athletes have to hold full time jobs.
On the other hand, I am frustrated like most Singaporeans about the lack of success in athletes over the past two decades. There has been enough debate over this after the last SEA Games. Motivating athletes to perform is more than just dangling monetary incentives and throwing KPIs at them. While such things are important, Singapore needs nurturing people like Mr Tan who can inspire the best out of athletes to restore the good old days of athletics. Nowadays, we read of law suits and threatened law suits between athletes and associations, failed submission of training plans and other accusations. I wonder if today’s athletes can testify if they have the inspiring figure like Mr Tan Eng Yoon guiding and leading them.
Mr Yee Jenn Jong