Singapore track and field results mobile app

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,  the private organizations would not take interest. No one person can make the transformation and everyone in the community has a part to play in improving the sport.

I have taken some effort to create a mobile friendly website specifically for the track and field community. It is designed to be viewed on a mobile phone as nearly everyone in Singapore is using one. It works well on any of the latest internet browser. The app has results of  the latest SEA GAMES, Singapore Open, National schools, POLITE and IVP results for all events including heats. There are more than 3000 athletes in the database. Each individual athlete has a single page and their detail results across the various competitions competed together with the equivalent IAAF points obtained. There is a also overall ranking based on timings/results (same athlete with multiple times) or ranked by athletes best time. There is a module that charts performance bands for each event and more. I have created a video user guide which is quite cool. Click on this link to view it  User guide video . The app can be found at this link Singapore Track & Field results .
I  hope to add a forum for the athletes to the site to get the community to communicate and work together. I have some video interviews done and have added it to the site to help junior athletes understand and learn from the experience of the senior athletes. I am constantly adding content to it.

It is a one man operation at the moment in getting the site up and running. I had a few athletes giving me feedback and suggestions which I am very thankful for. It took a lot of effort and will take a lot more effort to keep it going and to make it better. It needs the support and participation of the track and field community in providing information and sponsors to keep this going. The event videos on the site for example are taken from my video recording over the years while coaching NYP long distance athletes. It would need other event videos to be added to the site. I am also linking competition results to athletes by name which is quite difficult at times because the name registration are not standard across different competitions.
Sometimes it is difficult to identify the athlete with the published names in the results as shown in the pic on the right (top if you reading this using a mobile phone) because I suspect the last name and first name fields are used in the race registration. While others have just a common christian name and surname such as Andy Lim. NRIC would be the best way to link the athletes performance across the different competition. It would also be nice if athletes can pass me the links to their social media sites so that it can be listed in their personal particulars.

Remember to register and drop me a message on the app if you like it and you will get notification of new things added to the website. If there is support from the community, I would add a forum to the site.

While building the app and talking to athletes a few things came to mind.
1) The qualification criteria for choosing athletes for the 2015 SEA Games was based on the top two athletes for each event. The hope of being able to take part not only made athletes improve on their own personal best results but also some national records were improved a few times along the way. Athletes were also taking part in events such as the decathlon and heptathlon that Singapore has no representatives for a very long time. It will be sad if we were to revert back to bronze medal results as the qualifying mark for all overseas competition. It will only see athletes giving up the sport. In education we use scaffolding to help students improve, we need to do the same for the athletes. Even if we are not sending athletes of weaker events to the SEA Games, we should be sending them fully funded to regional meets. Singapore Swimming has already started sending juniors to the World Championship to groom them for the future. Planning is critical to ensure the next batch of athletes are not left on their own to make their way up.

2) Some of the events such as the hammer, heptathlon, 3km steeplechase, 5km and 10km for women together with decathlon and hammer throw for men are not contested at National Schools, Polite and IVP which are the major competitions held in Singapore. These are however events held at the SEA games. Athletes will not train for these events if there are no competition for them to take part in.

Many will think of sprints when they think of Thailand, the leader in South East Asia track and field. That is no surprise, since they have been producing sprinters since Anat Ratanapol (Asian games 100m/200m gold 1974, 200m gold 1970 source:Wikipedia). In the 2015 Sea Games, Thai athletes broke 5 games records. Only two were sprint events, the 400m and 110m hurdles men. The others are pole vault men, discus women and hammer throw women. They had 17 gold medals as compared to Singapore's three. The rest of their gold medals were in 4x100m, 4x400m, long jump, javelin and shot put for men and 100m hurdles, 4x100m, marathon, high jump, pole vault, javelin and heptathlon for women. Thailand is doing very well in multiple disciplines. The second and third place finishers on the medal tally, Vietnam and Indonesia respectively are no different. They obtained gold medals in walks, throws, jump and running events. The 3 countries accounted for 35 of the 46 gold medals at stake. We need to develop athletes in multiple disciplines as the combine knowledge is what makes a team strong and not to forget the decathlon/heptathlon which are multi events. It will also be great to see track and field become a compulsory CCA in schools. It is after all the training of basic motor skills for all sports.

Hope you will enjoy the mobile app. Do share this post and help build a vibrant track and field community.


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