SINGAPORE – From 2022, the elected leaders in Singapore Athletics (SA) will serve four-year terms, up from the current two.

The national track and field body passed the amendment in its constitution during its annual general meeting held virtually on Saturday (June 19) afternoon.

Out of its 23 affiliate members, 17 were present and 14 voted in favour of the change, while three abstained. The change is subject to approval by the Registry of Societies, and if ratified, will take effect from the next elections slated for 2022.

SA president Lien Choong Luen, who together with his management committee (MC) team was elected in last September on a two-year term, said that the amendments were made in accordance with guidelines from Sport Singapore (SportSG).

The national agency had previously indicated it supports a four-year term for the leadership of national sports associations, aligned with the major Games cycles such as the Olympics and Asian Games.

Lien, 44, the general manager of ride-hailing operator Gojek, added: “The affiliates recognised that (the amendment) is for the longer term benefit of the sport and the body.

“We wanted to bring the constitution up to date with the timelines around major Games cycles. This move also gives future MCs time for their initiatives and proposals to bed in, during their term.”

During the AGM, SA also announced that it will set up a sub-committee to oversee Masters’ interests in athletics, which will be helmed by an MC member and feature representatives from four affiliate clubs.

Lien also highlighted during the hour-long session some of the association’s accomplishments over the past year, such as staging six competitions for local athletes despite the pandemic, during which four national records – two in javelin, steeplechase and triple jump – were set.

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In recent years prior to Lien’s team being elected, SA had courted plenty of negative headlines stemming from a fractured leadership, that even led to an attempted purge of MC members in 2017 which was called off at the 11th hour.

There were also disagreements between SA’s leadership and local coaches, which led to politicking and unhappiness within the fraternity.

Red Hawk Sports Club president Akira Takahashi, said he has been pleased with the work done by Lien and his team, pointing to the cohesion between affiliate members and the SA leadership as a welcome change.

On the lengthening of future MCs’ terms, the 72-year-old added: “This new change is an indication that we are looking at things that can be improved and a four-year term will l help the MC a lot. It is good news for all.”

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