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Ideas For Change – FAS enhances engagement with new platform

Date: 
Fri, 10 Feb 2017

Ideas For Change – FAS enhances engagement with new platform

By Alvin Tham

As part of the Football Association of Singapore’s (FAS) on-going efforts to engage members of the local football fraternity to share their ideas on improving Singapore football, the pilot of a new series of dialogue sessions called “Ideas For Change” was launched last night.

“Ideas For Change” is the brainchild of Mr Bernard Tan, Vice-President of FAS' Provisional Council, who described the new series of forums as a platform where people from the local football fraternity can “express ideas”, and work together in bringing local football to the next level.

Mr Tan opened the session by sharing the format of the talks, where the guest speakers will speak for 10 minutes each on a topic that is related to youth development and/or grassroots football, which formed the overarching theme of the pilot session.

Nine speakers from various backgrounds took to the stage last night. Local football fans would be familiar with some of the speakers, such as former National Team striker Aleksandar Duric and Tampines Rovers Chairman Krishna Ramachandra. However, the other speakers were also from impressive backgrounds and are experts in their own fields including Dr Swarup Mukherjee (PhD in physiology), Tan Teck Hock (Principal of Singapore Sports School), Colin Braberry and Bernard Teo (both parent volunteers at St. Joseph’s Institution [SJI] Junior and SJI respectively), Yeong Sheau Shyan (Head Coach of Singapore’s Women National Team), Lawrence Ng (Chairman of Serangoon Community Sports Club) and Joe Keiser (Principal of AC Milan Soccer Academy in Singapore).

Although the speakers came prepared to share their own stories and experiences from different perspectives, they shared many common takeaways including allowing young children to learn and enjoy football, instead of the emphasis on winning. Dr Swarup, Tan Teck Hock, Colin Braberry and Bernard Teo all shared that playing football brings about other benefits to growing children other than improving their motor skills, such as learning important life lessons like teamwork and good values like team ethics.

The other speakers added more variety to the voices on the night, with Yeong Sheau Shyan offering her take on how to improve Women’s Football in Singapore, while Lawrence Ng gave his insights on how volunteering can help children who are enthusiastic about playing football become better contributors to the society, and Joe Keiser shared how grassroots football in the United States has evolved over the years and how we can learn from them in adapting it to local football.

The list of prominent speakers, who made sure that the night was an enriching one for all attendees, and their topics attracted a good number of participants, including Mr Lim Teck Yin (CEO of Sport Singapore), representatives from S.League and National Football League clubs, grassroots football and even representatives from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

Koh Mui Tee, General Manager of S.League champions Albirex Niigata, felt that other than the comprehensive sharing, the session was an important platform to build relations within the fraternity. He said: “It is a good opportunity to catch up with our football friends and it is also a good networking platform.”

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