SINGAPORE – Juliana Seow has worn many hats in sports – from national fencer to coach to president of Fencing Singapore – and hopes her experience will help her in her new role as vice president of the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC).
The 48-year-old told The Straits Times: “Whatever position I am in, I always want to contribute and make sport a better place.
“I’ve been an athlete and a coach, so I know how it feels and I hope with my experience that I can empathize with every situation and find a win-win solution.”
Seow and Singapore Bowling Chief Jessie Phua were elected vice presidents at SNOC’s annual virtual general meeting on Wednesday (September 23).
Phua was defending his post while the other was vacated by Dr. Tan Eng Liang, who resigned after 28 years of service. The other candidate in the race was former sepak takraw president Abdul Halim Kader.
Phua and Seow will serve until 2024, joining incumbent Vice Presidents Benedict Tan and Milan Kwee, who were elected at AGM 2018 and will serve until 2022.
The AGM took place via videoconference due to Covid-19 restrictions and was attended by 225 representatives of 54 national sports associations (NSAs).
SNOC President Tan Chuan-Jin paid tribute to former Olympian Dr. Tan and thanked him for his years of service.
He said: “Dr. Tan was a dedicated and selfless servant to sport in Singapore. He cares passionately about our sports and athletes and is irreplaceable for what he brings to the table. We thank him for the decades he has dedicated to sport and we wish him a happy retirement “.
Seow also paid tribute to Dr. Tan and said he was a “great model”.
He said: “I hope I can be as effective as Dr. Tan, who was a great role model. He can be tough and strict, but he is also very careful and empathetic. He is a very practical person who always tries to find the root of the problem.
“I have many role models, including Jessie and Milan and I hope to learn the best from everyone and create a unique identity for myself, but the most important thing is that I want sport to become a bigger passion for us.
“I really believe that sport helps build character especially in these circumstances when we need a lot of resilience to outdo ourselves.”
Phua, who has been in office since 2014, added that the biggest challenge for most NSAs now is how to maintain interest in their respective sports during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Now it is up to our peers in the sporting community to collectively overcome this and rise to this challenge,” he said. “It is up to us how we can be more creative to keep the commitment there and to keep the people excited so that when the light at the end of the tunnel gets bigger and brighter, we can emerge and hit the ground running.
“I hope that sport continues to be the unifying element that brings all Singaporeans together.”
SNOC 2020-2021 Executive Committee
President: Tan Chuan-Jin
IOC member: Ng Ser Miang
Vice Presidents: Milan Kwee, Benedict Tan, Jessie Phua, Juliana Seow
Honorary Treasurer: Edwin Lee
Members: Lawrence Leow
Members (co-opted): Lim Teck Yin, Tan Chen Kee, Mark Chay (president, athletes committee), Lau Kok Keng
General Secretary (ex officio): Chris Chan
Deputy Secretary General (ex officio): Edmund Lim