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Coaches’ Corner: Celebrate and Honour Your Mentors

 
Clockwise from left: Adaham bin Abdullah, Bradley McManus and William Woo. (Photo: SSC)
 
Constantly providing advice, life lessons and imparting priceless experience acquired through their journey.

Always shying away from the limelight as they allow their athletes to bask in the glory and achievements, these men and women are the ones behind the successes of our national athletes.

They truly are the unsung heroes; they are our national coaches!

It is now time to show your appreciation for your coaches, as come 9 September 2011, Singapore will be celebrating its fourth Coaches’ Day since its inauguration in 2007.

Throughout the year, we have heard many accounts of coaches going the extra mile for their charges, some have warmed our hearts and others have highlighted the amount of sacrifices our coaches have made in the course of their duty.

The Play Times would like to this opportunity to pay tribute to these outstanding coaches who have worked tirelessly with their athletes in their journey and pursuit of sporting excellence.


William Woo, 50, Bowling

Responsible for the successes of bowlers such as Cherie Chan, New Hui Fen and Remy Ong amongst many others, national bowling coach William Woo is a man born to bowl.

Having represented the republic from 1987 to 1991, William has proved himself a competent bowler but an even better coach as he continuously brings the best out of our national bowlers.

He discovered his potential for coaching during his days with the national team and after attending several coaching courses; Woo finally became a full-time coach in 1995.

A person who believes in having different training regimens for individual athletes, Woo’s meticulous approach to coaching has seen Singapore’s bowling grow from strength to strength.

The two time Coach of the Year recipient brings the best out of his bowlers as he constantly leads them to medal finishes in countless major championships such as the World Men Championship, the Asian Games and the Commonwealth Tenpin Bowling championship, just to name a few.

His athlete centred approach has also allowed him to connect with many of his bowlers and has become more than a coach to them.

“He is very enthusiastic about helping others and he knows us and has connected with each of us very well,” said Cherie Tan, a national bowler who has worked with Woo for 6 years.

It is also this cheerful and enthusiastic nature that endears him to his bowlers, “If there is something I will remember William by, it is the way he speaks. He gets really excited when he speaks, especially when he tries to convey instructions or messages to us while we are competing,” added Cherie.


Bradley McManus, 37, Golf

Having been in the golfing industry since 13, our National Golf Coach has a wealth of experience and knowledge.

Starting out his professional career in Australia, Bradley or Brad, as he is affectionately known in the sporting fraternity, was fortunate enough to be mentored by some of the best coaches in Australia and America.

His stint back in Australia also saw him working closely with leading Tour Professionals at the Australian Institute of Sport.

Having been a coach for more than 10 years, Brad has spent 4 of those years with the Singapore Golfing Association.

A person who leaves nothing chance, Brad has a holistic approach to golf that involves biomechanics, physiology, psychology and sports science.

To him, golf is not only about the technique and tactics, as one must also be physically and mentally strong.

“When Brad first saw me swing, he gave me tips and advice on how to improve my swing. He also thought me to focus on the process and not the result and to take it one shot at a time,” said Joshua Yeo.


Adaham Bin Abdullah, 47, Sepak Takraw

His job title may be that of a coach, but to many of his athletes, coach Adaham is more than a coach.

Adaham’s career in the sport has spanned more than two decades. Having represented the national team in the 80s, he has gone on to coach the national team as well as schools such as Changkat Changi Secondary, Bartley Secondary and Republic Polytechnic.

Like a brother, friend or sometimes father figure, Adaham reaches out to many of his athletes, especially the needy ones.

It is not all about sports for this coach as he feels that there needs to be a good balance between education and sports and he hopes his players would grow up to be people with good character.

Hence, he makes an effort to get to know his athletes and his interactions go beyond the sepak takraw arena.

“One of my school team boys was academically weak but I promised him some incentives if he could achieve a top three position for his final year exams. I wanted to motivate him to do well in school and in the end, he did well and achieved 2nd place,” said Adaham.

He also holds the belief that every committed athlete deserves a fair chance regardless; Adaham has reached into his own pockets on a few occasions.

“There was once when the boys showed me their sepak takraw shoes. There were holes in their soles and some of these boys are not so well off and cannot afford to buy another pair. Since I knew some people who sold sepak takraw equipment, I decided to buy some shoes for my boys,” said Adaham.

The Play Times would like to take this opportunity to salute these heroes for their passion and commitment to shaping our athletes for the future, and ultimately to shaping a sporting Singapore.