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Table tennis player Feng Tianwei joins SportSG to help develop sport pathways for children, youths

Table tennis player Feng Tianwei joins SportSG to help develop sport pathways for children, youths

Singapore's Tianwei Feng poses with her gold medal in the women's single table tennis at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, on Aug 7, 2022. (Photo: AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)

SINGAPORE: Table tennis player Feng Tianwei has joined Sport Singapore’s sport development group, where she will work on the development of sport pathways for children and youths, particularly in table tennis.

Feng, Singapore’s most bemedalled Olympian, will also pursue a master’s degree in sport industry management in Beijing’s Peking University, SportSG said in a news release on Monday (Sep 26). 

She will work part-time over the next two years, committing about eight to 10 hours a week while she studies. This is to equip her for a wider scope of career opportunities in SportSG in the future, SportSG said. 

SportsSG is not paying for Feng's school fees, a spokesperson said in response to CNA's queries. 

“Like other high-performance athletes, I have come to a point to transit beyond my playing days,” Feng said, adding that her work involves advancing the youth development landscape to allow more young Singaporeans to play the sport and hone their skills.

“I am very pleased 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 sport and I do want to understand and learn more about the sport ecosystem beyond being an athlete.”

During her latest outing at the Commonwealth Games, Feng bagged three gold medals, bringing her Games total to 13 and breaking former table tennis player Li Jiawei’s record haul of 10. She is also the first Singaporean to win the outstanding athlete award at the Games.

She follows former national athletes in joining SportSG, 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 by 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 sport industry”.

“There will be more I can offer and contribute to the local sporting fraternity thereafter,” she said.

Feng added that she will also continue to train while in Beijing – albeit at a lower intensity – to maintain her fitness so that she can continue to represent Singapore if given the opportunity.

“Tianwei’s interest to deepen her knowledge on Asia’s burgeoning sport industry augurs well with SportSG’s interests in catalysing and growing industry capability here as Singapore continues to position itself as a premier regional sport hub,” said SportSG chief executive officer Lim Teck Yin.

“SportSG is always on the lookout for talent with strong sport-DNA to join us … and we are pleased to welcome Tianwei to SportSG, to inspire and design the future of sport,” he added.

The organisation’s Sport Excellence framework includes different schemes to support athletes at different phases of their lives – including preparing them for their post-sporting career.

“Multiple pathways are available for athletes who are looking to transit to full-time work or retiring from active competition,” said SportSG.

Other initiatives include spexEducation, which enables student-athletes to balance demands of sports and education by providing support to them in areas such as educational counselling and alternative academic arrangements, and spexBusiness, which partners companies to offer employment, internships and extend flexible working arrangements to accommodate sporting commitments.

Source: CNA/ga(gr)
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