A new division within Sport Singapore called CoachSG will be officially launched in May to help coaches improve their skills and competencies.
Director of CoachSG Troy Engle speaking during the CoachSG Future of Coaching Engagement Session at the NYSI Satellite Centre. Photo: Sport Singapore
While CoachSG’s focus may seem limited to sports coaches, their long term goal has the far-reaching objective of improving everyone’s quality of experience in sport, and thereby helping people live better through sport, in line with Sport Singapore’s Vision 2030
“The theory is the quality of experience. If a person has a good quality of experience in sport, it will then inspire them to have a healthy life, to continue playing sport, to be a good teammate outside of sport, and to practice leadership through the things they learn in sport,” Deputy Director of CoachSG Low Jia Ren said.
“The theory is if they have a great theory experience in sport, especially from young, they will build habits that enable them to live better through sport later on in life.”
“And where does the quality of experience come from? Our theory is that coaches provide that. So therefore, if we improve the ability of coaches to deliver that quality of experience, we can help realise Vision 2030.”
And to realise Vision 2030, CoachSG has set out three strategies to achieve their goal.
Firstly, CoachSG will help coaches pick up skills and competencies, in both the technical aspect and pedagogy.
They will also help coaches become leaders of character. By getting coaches to dig a little deeper to understand the purpose of coaching, they aim to transform coaches into “not just a sports instructor, but a leader and life skills developer”.
Participants during the CoachSG Future of Coaching Engagement Session. Photo: Sport Singapore
Lastly, they will develop the industry in general by setting up a registry of coaches and assist coaches with licensing and various competencies.
“We want to raise the profile of coaches, and help parents and school understand that coaches are just like teachers,” Low said.
“They shape the future of the kids. They are professional in their standing, they are competent, and they are safe.”
Not everyone may realise the importance of a good coach, but a lifelong athlete who has been through the tutelage of multiple coaches can surely attest to their importance.
Soh Rui Yong, a Team Singapore marathoner and SEA Games gold medalist, who has been training under three local running coaches believes avidly in the importance of good coaching.
"In many ways, coaches have a much greater influence over kids than schools teachers do," he said.
"Sport is something that can be used to build character and values that transfers to other aspects of life as well. And you can't do that if the coach is not a good teacher of values."
To highlight how important coaches are, Soh gave the example of his coach in Raffles Junior College who was pivotal in his career as an athlete.
"Coach Steven Quek was by far the best coach who managed to bring out the best in myself and also teach me the right things," he said.
"If not for the fact that I met coach Steven Quek, I'm not sure if I still would be running today because he really helped me open up my mind to what I could accomplish."
"And also open up my mind to what it takes to compete at the highest level... Because that is what it takes at the highest level. It takes that razor sharp focus."