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Is it wise to use previous competition results as a SEA Games selection criteria?

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It is quite common to want to utilize the analysis of past results to predict the future. Singapore uses the third placing result of each track and field event as a selection criterion for the next SEA games. Some countries in South East Asia do the same but are there benefits in using this selection criterion. Economist who subscribes to the "Efficient Market Hypothesis" believes that future market prices cannot be predicted using past price information. Similarly, as one will see, data from past SEA games is not a good predictor of results for the next SEA games.

I have compiled the SEA games results for the top 3 placings for 36 track and field events in the SEA games since 1959  (it was then known as the SEAP games). The data was obtained from the souvenir programme given out during the 2017 SEA Games (Courtesy of  Akid Chong) and also from Wikipedia. I wrote the codes to  create charts from data across all the years on my website. You can click on the following link to …

Resolving muscular pain using kinesiology tapes

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I was introduced to some kinesiology tapes manufactured by Nitto Denko recently. I have seen the Kinesiology tape being used probably as far back as in the 90s. I have also used it on and off on myself and on others while helping out part time at the then Singapore Sports Council. Athletes used it very often for a variety of reason but mainly to relieve muscular pain. Although there are many advertisements and websites claiming many wonderful results, it may not be a wonder tape that they sometimes claim them to be. Research by Thelen, Dauber and Stoneman who wrote in the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy in 2008, found that it does not decrease pain intensity or disability for young patients with suspected shoulder tendonitis. Another study by Yu Konishi published in the "Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport" 2013, states that kinesiology tape did not significantlyenhance muscle strength as claimed by Dr. Kenzo Kase, inventor of the Kinesio Taping Metho…

Singapore track and field results mobile app

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A report by Asia One in 2014 (Asia One YOG report) states that more than 60% of Singapore's 2010 YOG athletes over 26 sports have given up competing. The report cites one of the main reasons for giving up is the lack of support.

Are we heading for the same destiny with the 2015 SEA Games? Athletes are often forgotten over time once a major event is over which is a common human trait. The Japanese however have a strong community support where athletes are hired by private organizations. Their athletes work shorter hours and are allowed to train and represent the company they work for. Singapore does not have such a corporate culture and some may claim that the athletes have not reached a high enough level to gain that support. It is a chicken and egg problem. We need to build a community among the track and field athletes to overcome this and market it as a whole. There have been  a few individual athletes building a name for themselves but unless a community can work as a whole, …

Running Barefoot

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Running barefoot is not new. Zola Budd represented Great Britain and South Africa in the Olympics and broke the women's 5km world record in 1985 with a time of 14:48.07 (Wikipedia 2015).  She trained and raced barefoot. She is mostly unknown to the present generation of runners but the older generation will probably remember the controversial race in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics when the two race favoutites Zola Budd and Mary Decker accidentally bumped into each other (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0vxAk6XsLU). It will be wonderful if Zola would one day come to this part of the world to share her experiences.

When I was young I used to run around my neighbourhood barefoot  playing soccer. It is hard to imagine children these days who are living in the city doing the same. I started
experimenting with running barefoot in 2010 at the beginning stages of the minimalist shoes era (https://www.facebook.com/notes/tho-yow-kin/barefoot-running/313881019685). My athletes started trainin…

Student achievement in Academic and Sports

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Before joining NYP as a full time staff, I was fortunate to be involved with national athletes while working part time at Singapore Sports Council which is now Singapore Sports Institute. It gave me a chance to come into contact with the athletes at the highest level in Singapore. Some of the national athletes are doing well in their jobs and have achieved good academic results. I was also fortunate to go into coaching distance runners and I have been coaching the NYP’s long distance runners for the past four years..
While teaching in NYP, I have encountered students in my class who are representing NYP in badminton, basketball, swimming, kickboxing, dragon boat, soccer, hockey, floorball and tchoukball. Some are doing well academically while some come to class tired, not able to focus and often fall asleep in class. Majority of athletes who are weak academically, do make it an effort to improve on their studies. With so much benefits exemplified in sports, it intrigued me to figure o…

Old dogs can learn new tricks

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When Stephan Wiltshire came to Singapore in July 2014, I took the opportunity to go down to watch him draw at Paragon. I have watched him in  a documentary before on TV. He could draw from memory after an hour up in the air on a helicopter. It was just amazing seeing him draw.

Art is probably the only subject I am able to fail in secondary school. Drawing is something I never thought of ever being able to do. I have asked my athletes who showed interest in drawing to come up with logos or T-shirt designs but most do not have the time to get something significant out. I have ruled myself out in designing or drawing.

There are not many sculptures which depicts sports in action and I thought maybe I should give it a try.  When I picked up books from the library on sculptures, the books' advice is to do lots of drawing first before trying out working on sculptures. So back to square one.

I went to the library and found this book "Drawing on the right side of the brain" by B…

Trying new things

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It was not so long ago on the first of Jan 2011, my close friend from university, Siew Noi, invited me to Pulau Ubin. She rented a chalet there and invited a few of our friends including some hostel mates of ours back in the NUS KEKR days. As usual she had some surprizes. She got hold of a wake boarding operator to come over. The instructor Paul managed to get her 9 year kid to wakeboard and it looked fun. I have never tried it before and I gave it a go. It was not easy and some of my friends failed to stand while the boat pulled us out of the water. I failed too at first but after a few attempts, I managed to get one run standing on the wakeboard for around 80m before I lost the grip and ended in the water. I was 47 years old then and it felt great learning something new. In 2014 a cycling trip with my athletes to Ubin and the chalets are no longer in operation. How things can change in just a few years.

I am afraid of heights but in 2014 at the age of 50, I managed my first attempt…