Cycling: Singapore federation chief Hing elected to Asian body; sec-gen Yap joins UCI

SINGAPORE – About a month into his new role as the treasurer of the Asian Cycling Confederation (ACC), Hing Siong Chen, who is also the Singapore Cycling Federation (SCF) president, is feeling the pressure.

As a doctor, he is used to a “steep learning curve” and having to juggle multiple roles but Hing has earned the privilege of being the first Singaporean to be elected into the executive committee of the ACC.

The ACC is the sport’s governing body in Asia and is a member of global body, the International Cycling Union (UCI). Singapore was one of 12 nations elected into the management committee in a virtual election on March 22 by 42 member countries. Hing, 48, was later elected treasurer on April 29.

He said: “Being the first Singaporean there is a big responsibility and it’s more sobering. There are many things to learn and I realised that I’m wearing many hats at the same time so it’s quite tough. But there’s always enough time to sort everything out, you just have to be organised.”

Hing first joined the SCF in 2015 as the honarary secretary before becoming president in 2017. He hopes to raise the profile of Singapore cycling in Asia and help the region’s scene become more established, similar to that of Europe.

“These relationships (with foreign officials) will open doors for us so that we can train with them in the future. We’ve met other delegates and our message to them is we’re an up-and-coming country and we want to be more involved in cycling in the region,” he said of his aims.

“We want to build our infrastructure and when we have a velodrome next time, we can also invite them to train and compete with us.”

Besides managing the ACC’s finances, he will also assist in making day-to-day decisions and organising events such as the Asian Road Cycling Championships and the Asian Mountain Bike Championships.

In another first for the Republic, SCF secretary-general Ronnie Yap was elected a UCI voting delegate on May 21, one of nine representatives from Asia. The other delegates are from Africa (nine), America (nine), Europe (15) and Oceania (three).

A UCI voting delegate attends the annual UCI congress and votes on issues such as constitution changes and in UCI management committee elections when required.

Yap, 53, also hopes this puts Singapore on the UCI’s radar as a potential location for a UCI World Cycling Centre satellite centre, a training hub for cyclists.

Three satellite centres are in Asia (India, South Korea and Japan) while a fourth is in South Africa. The main UCI World Cycling Centre is in Aigle, Switzerland.

He added: “We’re always looking for new ways to elevate Singapore’s stature in the region and one of the ways is by serving in the ACC and UCI. Growing our management (capabilities and profile), after our grassroots and high performance, is the natural next step.”

Hing credited these milestones to the achievements and support of athletes and officials here for raising Singapore’s credibility in the region. Both him and Yap will serve for four years.

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