I’ve acknowledged Oon Jin Teik for 38 years, which makes making this interview sense a touch ordinary. We were in the same 12 months in junior university, where he became a high-profile, however low-key scholar. He became a countrywide swimmer, an accomplished violinist gambling with the Singapore Philharmonic Orchestra, and head prefect at Anglo-Chinese School. He turned into also named Singapore’s Sportsboy of the Year in 1980, our first yr at Anglo-Chinese Junior College. But he wore his achievements modestly. He becomes famous but quiet and shy. He did not dangle out with the jocks inside the canteen. He did not strut across the way a few lesser-decorated athletes did. He kept his head low – literally – and always appeared a touch bashful.
Built at a fee of $1.33 billion and spread over 35ha, the Sports Hub includes the National Stadium, Singapore Indoor Stadium, OCBC Arena, OCBC Aquatic Centre and Kallang Wave Mall. He was its leader running officer in view that 2014, and performing CEO after the surprising departure of his predecessor, Mr. Manu Sawhney, last May. He has chosen to fulfill at one of the govt suites at the National Stadium. Our lunch is courtesy of SATS Delaware North, which is at the back of the catering and food and beverage at the Sports Hub.
A table has been set in the middle of the room, which overlooks the stadium’s unique purple and white stands. Today, the pitch within the center is a sea of brown sand because the grass is in the nursery; it is a non-pitch season. A menu on the desk reveals that lunch will comprise a salmon appetizer, chicken consomme, pork and black woodland cake. Oon, 54, walks in, a blazer over an open-collared shirt. The remaining time we might meet changed into nearly three years ago. Barring a bit more gray in his nonetheless-thick hair, his seems have not changed that much from whilst he turned into in college. His way, too, has remained constant this kind of years.
He has constantly been frank and polite, and he nonetheless is so today, like when he thanks the waiter whenever the person brings us the food and fills up our glasses of water. Nice” is a phrase that vegetation up frequently when human beings talk about him. My colleagues on the Sports desk say he has a popularity in sporting circles for being a decent man. But interviewing him can be a frustrating exercise because even as he’s happy to talk, he’s guarded and does not reveal tons or provide good sound bites. As a colleague positioned it, “he is a pleasing chap; however, interviewing him is like panning for gold”.
I congratulate him on his appointment, which he accepts without fuss.
Although he isn’t new to the Sports Hub function, he is excited because he now has the potential to “actually pass ahead and direct the delivery that manner”. The Sports Hub – especially the National Stadium – has had its share of challenges and horrific press because it opened in June 2014. The proceedings have included the negative first-rate of the grass pitch, a leaky roof, and a muffled sound system. There has been an additional body of workers’ morale issues. Much of that has been constant, and chief amongst his challenges now is to ensure there are enough activities and occasions to draw the crowds. HE COMES to the action with a unique heritage of handling sports at one-of-a-kind levels.