Shyam cites workload for pullout from SA polls

Shyam cites workload for pullout from SA polls

Nominations for the Singapore Athletics (SA) polls closed on Tuesday with an eleventh-hour surprise when former national sprinter U. K. Shyam decided not to contest the Sept 25 elections.

Shyam, who holds the national men’s 100m record of 10.37sec, was on Sept 6 announced as part of the TeamSGP Athletics line-up led by lawyer Edmond Pereira.

But the team said in a press statement yesterday that Shyam, who was slated to run for a committee member post, would be replaced by Fahmy Raimi, the chief marketing officer of digital marketing firm RAWR Global.

Shyam, 44, told The Straits Times he will not be running for office due to heavy work commitments. The senior manager at Sport Singapore said he “will be supporting the team in their athlete development committee” instead.

He and Chan Mun Wei, founder of social enterprise SustainableSG and a former director of sports at the then Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports, will support Pereira’s nine-member team through its various committees.

TeamSGP Athletics will face the team led by Gojek general manager Lien Choong Luen at the Sept 25 annual general meeting.

Incumbent president Tang Weng Fei will not be standing for re-election.

Pereira, 70, said: “We have a diverse team with professionals with skill sets which are necessary for the development of track and field in Singapore and to move the sport to greater heights.”

Other members of the team include swimming legend Ang Peng Siong and lawyer S. Govindaraju, who are currently SA’s vice-presidents of training and selection, and competitions organising, respectively.

Fahmy said he will focus on digitising the association’s services, adding that “enhancement of social engagement will also help open new doors and opportunities”.

TeamSGP Athletics also announced its goal of raising up to $1 million in sponsorship for SA, and that it would be providing fiscal support to the institutes of higher learning (IHLs) to organise the Institute-Varsity-Polytechnic track and field meet.

Lien’s Team Ground Up feature Gary Yeo, a former SA athletes’ commission representative who resigned from his role in March.

He will run for the post of vice-president (training and selection). The other vice-presidential candidates are veteran official Joe Yap (competitions organising) and DBS data analyst Marinda Teo (finance and partnership).

The team announced earlier this month that they have secured $100,000 in donations to get their plans going if they are voted into power.

These include turning IHLs into regional training centres and providing coaches for athletes from schools that do not focus on athletics, among others.

Next week’s AGM at Nexus Auditorium, Cuppage Plaza, will see SA’s 23 affiliate members voting in nine out of the 18-strong field to the management committee.

There will be two non-elected members of the committee: The executive director and an athletes’ commission representative.