Attending our first Asian Rowing congress
On 3 December 2022, Singapore Rowing attended the Asian Rowing Federation (ARF) 2022 Ordinary Congress in Thailand.
Congratulations to the newly elected ARF team for 2022 to 2026, led by incoming president Chen Chunxin, who is also vice president of the China Rowing Association.
We are also proud that Singapore's own Nicholas Ee was awarded the ARF Medal of Honour, in recognition of his long and meritorious service to the development of rowing throughout Asia. We would also like to express our deepest appreciation for his work in developing rowing in Singapore and the region.
We are thankful to have met other rowing associations in the region and to learn from their experience in areas such as talent and infrastructure development. We are delighted that Semun Oh, vice president of the Asian Rowing Federation and president of the Korea Rowing Association, has offered to conduct training exchanges with Singapore and we look forward to collaborating soon.
The congress was also attended by the World Rowing Federation president Jean-Christophe Rolland, who has connected Singapore Rowing with various global experts to support in areas including:
Through attending the congress and the concurrent Asian Rowing Championships 2022, Singapore Rowing has gained insights into the infrastructure required for training and competition facilities. Essential facilities include a boat house, a finishing tower, and a grandstand. Supporting facilities include a food establishment, an accommodation block, meeting areas and an area for unloading vehicles. These facilities have to be scaled with the number of athletes participating in the competition.
One inspiring story we heard was of Iran, which began their rowing journey 15 years ago. Without a rowing boat or facility, they started their talent development programme and identified talent from secondary schools with support from their Ministry of Education. They scouted for talent with both the physical and mental aptitude for rowing. Since then, their rowing scene has grown, and Iran's 13 athletes won 8 medals at this year's Asian championships from 30 November to 4 December.
Singapore Rowing also participated in the championships, which were held at the Royal Thai Navy Rowing Centre in Ban Chang, Rayong Province, Thailand. We competed in various events and learnt from other athletes.
The ARF Ordinary Congress and Asian Rowing Championships were overall an insightful and good learning experience for Singapore Rowing. We deeply cherish the ties and friendships built with various rowing organisations we met.
Written by Head (Facilities) Lee Kian Chong
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