SINGAPORE – The coronavirus pandemic has not only brought sports in stadiums, swimming pools and sports halls here to a halt, but also other sports-related activity outside of these venues.
The election of leaders for some national sports associations (NSAs) will now have to wait, as some are considering or have already postponed their annual general meetings (AGMs), which is when their elections are held.
Others like Singapore Athletics (SA) and Netball Singapore are considering conducting their AGMs virtually, as both are due to elect office bearers this year. For those such as the Singapore Cycling Federation and Singapore Squash Rackets Association whose AGMs are scheduled for the end of the third quarter, they intend to go ahead as planned but will monitor the Covid-19 developments closely.
A new law passed on April 7 allows registered societies and companies to adopt alternative means of conducting AGMs, such as through video conferencing, or to postpone them, to keep in line with safe distancing measures.
Singapore Sailing is looking to postpone its AGM and election, which was initially scheduled for June 24. It is in the process of seeking consensus from its 18 affiliates.
Singapore Sailing president Lincoln Chee told The Straits Times: “The main reason is that we can’t find any tried and tested online voting system that we can use but, more importantly, the AGM is an opportunity for key members of the sailing community to get together physically and we hope that can still happen.”
The Singapore Swimming Association (SSA) is exploring its options and consulting its legal adviser with regard to its AGM, said president Lee Kok Choy.
Its constitution states that the AGM must take place by June 30 with 14 days’ written notice. The association, which has 37 ordinary members with voting rights, is also due to elect and/or re-elect its executive committee this year.
Noting that this is “unknown territory” for NSAs, he added: “Ideally we would like to hold our AGM without postponement. If we do have to postpone, hopefully we can conduct a physical meeting with limited attendance.
“We would need to get approval from members on two things: A postponement, if any, and to allow the current exco to continue running the association in the meantime, until we have a new exco.”
Netball Singapore president Jessica Tan said the association is evaluating the option of an online AGM.
“Perhaps in late July, as the auditors can only work on our financial records after the circuit breaker,” she added.
The association will have to request for an extension from the Registry of Societies as its constitution requires the AGM to be held by the end of June, said Tan.
SA executive director Malik Aljunied told ST the association is in touch with its sport performance manager from the Singapore Sport Institute to explore how a virtual AGM can be held by July 31.
Noting that the expected attendance is between 60 and 70 people, he said: “We will need to make sure there is enough lead time and update our stakeholders early, making sure that the information they need is sent early. We have to make sure the IT infrastructure supports the volume – we’re going to be flashing documents and sharing graphics-heavy slides.
“We’re exploring a few options for secured platforms where our affiliates can cast their votes and we can verify and validate their votes.”
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