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Farewell, Mr Tan

Principal Tan Teck Hock Concludes Singapore Sports School Term As Inaugural Excellence in Sports Education Award Finalist

“Excellence in sport and studies is not a binary option,” is a signature quote by Principal Tan Teck Hock. Mr Tan truly believes in his words, and lives by them. Since he joined in 2014, Mr Tan has displayed passion and the drive to nurture every student-athlete to excel in sport, studies and life.

His hallmark during his six-year term is preparing the Sports School to be an Athlete-Friendly Education Centre, which allowed the school to pilot the Extended International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) programme. Under his leadership, the school introduced the cluster system, added another polytechnic option with Ngee Ann Polytechnic, increased the number of local and international partnerships, and developed new facilities and improved existing ones. In all the work that he has done over the years, student-athletes have remained the centre of his decisions.

For his excellent work in developing sports education in Singapore, he recently beat several nominations from all around the world to receive an award for being the top-three finalists of the inaugural World Academy of Sport's International Award for Excellence in Sports Education. Mr Tan received the award at the Manchester Sports Awards on 19 October 2019.

The award is an excellent recognition and culmination of Mr Tan’s hard work, before he leaves the Sports School for another appointment on 14 December.

Besides creating a robust system for student-athletes, Mr Tan took character development and discipline seriously. Yet, he always showed that he had the heart for student-athletes. As aptly said by Nicholas Rachmadi, an Extended IBDP student and Chairman of the 5th Council of School Captains during his tribute speech to Mr Tan, “Mr Tan is not just for us, he’s with us… He goes to various sport facilities to watch us train, he goes to competition venues to encourage us. He experienced our exhilaration when we won and he felt our deep disappointment when we didn’t.”

To celebrate Mr Tan’s dedication and commitment over the last six years, student-athletes, staff and parents shared their experiences and well-wishes during school activities over the last few weeks. His parting words before he starts his new appointment as Principal of Spectra Secondary School is, “In memories I am rich.”

Mr Ong Kim Soon, who is currently the Director of Physical, Sports and Outdoor Education Branch at MOE Headquarters, will succeed him. As Mr Ong has been an educator for more than 25 years, including leading St Hilda’s Secondary School as Principal, he has the expertise and experience to lead the Sports School into delivering results in both sports and academics.

We wish you all the best in your new appointment, Mr Tan!