Despite Tan Kin Loong’s (or Andy Tan as he is better known) busy schedule, IGNITE was able to meet up with him to discuss his thoughts on his overall journey and experience as SA Sports Officer. Andy shares with us the ups and downs of his term.
Exactly one year ago, you were campaigning for the position of Sports Officer. Looking back, what made you run for the position?
From my perspective, in terms of sports in UNMC, there were a lot of potential areas of improvements that required attention. Especially when it came to the facilities and meeting the needs of the clubs and societies. I have worked hard since and can say that I have met the majority of the promises I have made in my manifesto.
Now that you have mentioned your manifesto, what were your most significant achievements?
Definitely the biggest success for me was improving the gym facilities. I was able to alter the structure, replace and install more equipments as requested. Apart from that, a lot of sports clubs and societies had approached me, as they needed help financially. Fortunately this year, I was able to channel funds specially allocated for sports purposes to these clubs in the form of subsidies which I believe helped them run smoothly.
What promises were you unable to deliver or what is something you would do differently?
Honestly, I wouldn’t do anything differently if given the chance because everything I have done so far has been for the benefit of the students and the clubs. However, something I wish I could have delivered during my term would be the improve the conditions of the indoor court’s flooring. Students have actually pointed this out to me countless times before, the flooring is too slippery.
What was the primary reason you were unable to achieve this? Was it due to time constraints?
Time wasn’t really the reason. We worked hard on it but couldn’t find a cost-friendly solution. You see, the current wood used to panel the indoor court is not Malaysian wood. The wood was actually obtained from a German company and has been in place since the Sports Complex was initially constructed. This complicated things as there were no local companies that were able to carry out maintenance on this particular brand of wood within a reasonable budget.
What were the some of the greatest challenges or difficulties you faced during your term?
When I first joined there was no one holding the position of Sports Manager. In fact the new manager only came in much later on during the first week of the Nation’s Cup. During the time when the position was vacant, I was unable to handle finance related issues which was under the portfolio of the Sports Manager. Hence, it was difficult then me to carry out improvements on the gym as I had previously promised during my campaign. Students didn’t understand the reason for the delay in the improvements and it was difficult for me to convey the message and explain the reasons to every student. That was a challenging time for me.
It isn’t uncommon to see long rants on our infamous UNMC Expressions page regarding the SA executives. Many students seem to think that the Student Association don’t keep their promises. What are your thoughts on this?
I think it’s more of a communication problem and them being unaware of what happens behind the scenes. There have been some improvements due to Linur’s ‘Let’s Talk UNMC’ initiative. If anyone wants to find out about what we do, the videos would be a good source of information. Hopefully, videos like this garner more attention in the future.
What advice would you give to the current candidates running for Sports Officer?
I would ask them to be prepared, seriously think, and make realistic decisions on what they plan to achieve during their term as Sports Officer. Apart from Nation’s Cup, it is your choice if you would like to organise a separate event. If not, I would suggest that you focus on the clubs and societies which are in need especially in terms of finance, which you will be able to help with fair allocations of subsidies.
Do you have anything you would like to add before we wrap up this session?
Being Sports Officer has truly been a great experience and I feel I have matured greatly. It has been a pleasure working together with the Nottingham Sports Team (NST) and the other SA executives. Everyone has always been cooperative and easy to work with. The atmosphere has always been supportive. I would sincerely like to thank them for helping so much. Moreover, I also appreciate all the feedback given by students and would advise them to directly approach us in the future whether in person or via email so that we can help them. But I hope they understand that sometimes it’s not that we don’t want to help them, but that it is truly out of our capabilities to help them.
Written by Nayantara Soni.