New culture at sports Ministry is a welcome change
Published on: Sunday, February 23, 2020
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As a coach I seldom have any need to deal with the Minister of Youth and Sports and his extended team at the ministry.  In the lead up to the recent Touche International Minime 2020  this  changed.     

Under  pressure  and  with  the  challenges  of  organizing  an international tournament gave me the opportunity for me to gauge the minister’s ability to assist the developing sport of fencing.

As a former national fencer, I have seen plenty of change in the personnel in and around the sport at different levels. I have also seen that some things have remained the same over the decades that I have been in the sport. I’m pleased to report a positive change in culture at the ministry.

Two  small  things  which  make  all  the  difference.    Firstly,  an  open-door  policy  and secondly a culture of problem solving even though it was late on a Friday or early on a Monday morning.  This culture was seen not just in the ministers’ speech but applied by his officers who assisted every step of the way.

As a way forward we need to involve more corporations into sports.  One thing we did learn during the recent tournament is that sports development & sports tourism go hand in hand. 

The recent Touche International Minime 2020 had over 220 participants from 9 countries. We saw some great fencing and many new friendships forged.

It was not just the athletes that benefited, hotels gained hundreds of room nights, bus companies and Grab drivers to send the teams back and forth to the stadium were busy, airlines picked up seats that were not in their usual planning.  It’s within this dynamic that companies should start to consider sporting events like fencing to sponsor as they drive both revenue, community engagement and branding in the media.

I would like to thank the Minister of Youth and Sports, Syed Saddiq, his Deputy Minister and the Sports Commission. As without your assistance I would not be able to thank all the volunteers, referees, coaches, national and state associations, media, parents and athletes who came from near and far to be a part of this tournament.

In the final analysis, as coaches and now as a tournament organiser, we need to be empowered to find the next generations of champions that will do the country proud.

Coach Mok Chek Wlong

Touche Fencing Club & Former 

National Fencer

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