2022 New Year Message from Ellen Lee, JP, PBM, STTA President

Happy New Year! I believe everybody had a restful break and have enjoyed the festive season!

Year 2021 was a special year for STTA. The journey to 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games has been fraught with so many uncertainties and we had to constantly adjust our training and competition plans to abide by the COVID-19 rules and regulations. Nevertheless, as true sportsmen, our players persevered and courageously accepted and overcame these challenges.

In year 2021, Clarence Chew made history by becoming the first Singapore-born male table tennis player to qualify for the men’s singles competition at the Tokyo Olympics. This was a historic moment for Singapore and we hope that Chew’s achievement will inspire the younger generation of athletes to dream big. At the Tokyo Olympics, Lin Ye put up a tough fight against the Chinese opponent in the team event. Our senior player, Yu Mengyu, battled on despite her injuries and finished Top 4 in her singles event. Our Team Singapore paddlers fought hard throughout this Olympics journey and we applaud them for coming this far. We are so proud of them!

What is more, the women’s team led by Lin Ye together with our younger generation of athletes which comprises of Zhou Jingyi, Zhang Wanling, Goi Ruixuan and Wong Xinru continued Singapore success by retaining the bronze medal from the previous edition in 2019 at the Asian Championships.

Not to be outdone, our national youth paddlers Izaac Quek and Ser Lin Qian won three bronze medals at the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Youth Championships 2021. This is the biggest medal haul for Singapore at the tournament. The duo and their team mate Zhou Jingyi also scored several youth titles at the WTT (World Table Tennis) Youth Contender tournaments in Europe.

The STTA celebrated her 90th Anniversary in 2021 with a drive-through goodie bag give-away, together with Mediacorp Radio Station Capital 95FM. We are pleased to share that over 200 cars turned up for the event. STTA also released a series of 90th anniversary videos on our social media platforms to commemorate this special occasion. Our Olympians also did several virtual outreach programmes with Catholic High (Primary & Secondary), Maris Stella High School (Primary), Blangah Rise Primary School and Yuan Ching Secondary School. Our athletes also paid a visit to Spectra Secondary School in the earlier part of the year. The STTA brought back the National Grand Finale 2020/2021 in March 2021 and STTA Youth Table Tennis Championships in December 2021. Unfortunately we were unable to organise more local tournaments because of the safe management measures brought forth by the variants, Delta and Omicron.

Although the adversity of COVID-19 had caused a significant drop in our income, STTA did not charge any training fees and continued to provide complimentary online training as well as webinars when all physical training was suspended. It is not easy for STTA but we remain committed to taking care of our athletes and employees.

Year 2021 ended on a special note with the WTT Cup Finals, Singapore. This prestigious tournament was very well received and many Singaporeans turn up to support the event. Our athletes from our Junior Development Squad and Youth Training Squad had the rare opportunity to meet and greet their favourite table tennis stars – Feng Tianwei (Singapore), Adriana Diaz (Puerto Rico), Liam Pitchford (England) and Chen Meng (China) via a virtual meet and greet session!

As we embark on a new year, we hope that our athletes will continue to achieve international success and our local training, events and tournaments can resume in the new normal. Hopefully, with the roll-out of vaccination for children under 12, STTA will be able to conduct the selection trials for the Junior Development Squad and organise local tournaments for athletes under 12 in 2022.

2022 will be a busy year for our athletes as they look forward to compete in the upcoming SEA Games in Vietnam (12-23 May 2022), Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England (28 July -8 August 2022) and Asian Games in Hangzhou, China (10-25 September 2022). I believe these upcoming Games has a unifying power and is able to bring the table tennis world together again.

Finally, I would like to thank our supporters, sponsors, athletes and their families for their continuous support. I also would like to thank my management committee members and staff for their commitment and dedication in these unprecedented times.Let us all come together and embrace the new challenges ahead of us. I am confident that we have the ability to come together and prosper in a post COVID-19 pandemic world!Wishing one and all the very best in the new year!