SINGAPORE Table tennis player Feng Tianwei has joined Sport Singapore’s sports development group where she will work on developing sports pathways for children and young people, particularly in table tennis.
Feng, the most medal-winning Olympian in Singapore, will also earn a master’s degree in sports industry management from Peking University in Beijing, SportsG said in a press release on Monday (Sept. 26).
She will work part-time for the next two years, spending about eight to ten hours a week during her studies. This is to equip her for a wider range of career opportunities in SportSG in the future, SportSG said.
Like other elite athletes, I have come to a point of going beyond my playing days, she said, adding that her work is to improve the youth development landscape so that more young Singaporeans can play the sport and improve their skills.
I am very happy with what I have done for Singapore so far and it is now time for me to give back to Singapore in a different way.
I love sports and I want to understand the sports ecosystem and learn more about it than just being an athlete.
In her last appearance at the Commonwealth Games, Feng took three gold medals, bringing her total to 13 and breaking former table tennis player Li Jiaweis’ record of 10. She is also the first Singaporean to win the Outstanding Athlete Award at the Games.
She follows former national athletes who join SportsSG such as former football players Lim Tong Hai, Aleksandar Duric and Razali Saad, former pencak silat athlete and two-time world champion Muhammad Shakir Juanda, and former badminton player Vanessa Neo.
Feng will leave Singapore for Beijing at the end of this month and will work closely with her colleagues at SportSG during her time there.
She added that she believes pursuing further studies, in addition to her experience as an athlete, will give her a “better understanding of the region’s sports industry.
There will be more after that that I can provide and contribute to the local sports club, she said.
Feng added that she will also continue to train while in Beijing, albeit at a lower intensity to maintain her fitness so she can continue to represent Singapore if given the chance.
Tianwei’s interest in deepening its knowledge of the fast-growing sports industry in Asia bodes well for SportsSG’s interests to catalyze and increase the industry’s capacity here as Singapore continues to position itself as a leading regional sports hub, said Lim. Teck Yin, chief executive officer of SportsSG.
SportSG is always looking for talent with strong sports DNA to join us and we are delighted to welcome Tianwei to SportSG to inspire and shape the future of sport, he added.
The organization’s Sport Excellence framework includes several programs to support athletes at different stages of their lives, including preparation for their post-sports careers.
Multiple pathways are available for athletes seeking full-time employment or retiring from active competition, SportsSG said.
Other initiatives include spexEducation, which empowers student-athletes to balance the demands of sport and education by providing support in areas such as educational advice and alternative academic arrangements, and spexBusiness, which partners with companies to provide work, internships and flexible work arrangements to fulfill sporting obligations. CN
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