H E A D L I N E R
Oon Jin Teik
Olympian to Singapore Sports Council CEO
Oon Jin Teik (Class of ’79) is yet another ACSian who has done our
alma mater proud when he was recently appointed to high office as
Chief Executive Office of the Singapore Sports Council (SSC). A
former outstanding swimmer, he was named Sportsboy of the Year 1980
and has represented Singapore at numerous international meets,
including the 1986 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh and the 1984
Olympics in Los Angeles. Jin Teik also excelled in the performing
arts as 2nd Violinist, Singapore Philharmonic Orchestra and 1st
Violinist, Singapore Schools’ National Orchestra.
affable and modest Jin Teik is thankful for the ACS brand of
education that helped shape his life. An above-average student who
played as hard as he studied and got himself involved in many
activities, he recalls: “ Life in ACS was complete. Going beyond the
paper chase, we were developed physically, socially and spiritually.
This all-round education has helped me tremendously in my life and
his busy schedule in his new challenge at the SSC, Jin Teik found
time to share with us below, some of his personal experiences in ACS
and his career.
teachers influenced me at different stages of my school life. I
recall Mrs Teoh in Primary 1 (ACPS) and her strong yet gentle style
of guiding us. And how can I forget Mrs Fong in Primary 2! She
pulled my ear for a careless Maths mistake during the mid-year
exams, and believe me, it was a wake up call in more sense than one!
In ACS Secondary, Mr
Earnest Lau (Principal) taught us true ACS leadership, whilst Mr Wee
Moh Nam (Discipline Master, Maths Teacher & Swimming Coach) taught
me an important lesson in life. After my first public speech as
Assistant Head Prefect (Sec 2) ended disastrously when I ‘blacked
out’ in the middle of the speech, Mr Wee spent time to counsel me
about public speaking, about recovering from failures in life, and
about focusing on the task-at-hand. He then gave me the next public
speaking opportunity, which turned out to be a success. I never
looked back ever since.
In ACJC, my Physics
Teacher and Swimming Coach Mr Lenn Wei Ling fine-tuned many of my
attributes. With his uncanny way of doing things, he pushed me
towards academic and sports excellence. As a volunteer coach at ACS
Shaw Pool, he was the most deserving Singapore Coach-of-the-Year in
1984 for single-handedly guiding us (Ang Peng Siong, David Lim, my
brother Jin Gee, and me) to qualify for the 1984 Los Angeles
The ACS Olympic foursome
(David Lim, Oon Jin Teik, Ang Peng Siong
and Oon Jin Gee)
with ACJC teacher
and coach Mr Lenn Wei Ling
swimming career started
parents got me started in swimming while I was in Primary 1, not
with any intentions of being a national swimmer but as an exercise
for good health. Subsequently, I was very fortunate to acquire my
fundamental swimming skills from the late Neo Chwee Kok (former
first international meet was the 4th Asian Age Group Championships
in Bangkok, 1973 when I was in Primary 4. As a rookie, I was too
blur to be nervous and ended up with a couple of bronze medals in
this first international outing. Subsequently, I went on to
represent Singapore at various international meets, including the
1986 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh and the 1984 Olympic Games in
Am I a
“natural” sportsman or a “nurtured” one?
I were a natural sportsman, so that I did not have to work so hard!
It was sheer hard work, and I attribute my successes in the pool to
the late Mr Neo Chwee Kok, Mr Wee Moh Nam (ACS), the late Mr Kee
Soon Bee and Mr Lenn Wei Ling (ACJC).
those days, I had to train twice a day. My mother would wake up at
4:30am daily and drive me to the Toa Payoh swimming pool for the
5:15am training. When it came to diet and nutrition, rest and
recovery, time management and school homework, my parents and
coaches drove the disciplined lifestyle that I had to adopt. There
was no easy solution and no shortcuts".
Olympic Foursome from ACS
to right: Ang Peng Siong, Oon Jin Teik, David Lim & Oon Jin Gee)
ups and downs that I experienced in life, I have been blessed with
God’s guidance and forgiveness. I have learned that the attitude I
bring forth, the discipline I possess, the passion I contribute and
the perseverance to complete each task are attributes for a
successful and meaningful life.
people-oriented and people-driven person, I also strongly believe
that taking care of people is the most important thing that I’ve
learned and practised. I have also learned that whilst it is
important to keep up with the everchanging world, the fundamental
aspects of life – God-fearing, attitude, discipline, passion and
perseverance - must not change.
“For every ACSian
leaving school, there are two precious assets that they should
treasure: his network of ACS friends and his experience of the ACS
way of life.”
The ACS foursome at the 1984 Asian Swimming Championships, where
they clinched a silver and
bronze for the 4 x 100m Free and 4 x 400m
Medley relays respectively, to qualify for
the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics
The Oons' three sons: Brandon,
Alexander & Christopher
a wonderful family!
been blessed with a wonderful family. No words can describe the
sacrifices my parents have made to provide for my siblings and me.
My younger brother Jin Gee was also in the Singapore team at the
1984 Los Angeles Olympics. I am also blessed with my wife Emily, who
is the pillar of our family in every sense. We have three sons –
Alexander (Primary 6 – ACS [Primary]), Brandon (K2) and Christopher
(2 years). We try to expose them to any sports and arts activities,
as long as they enjoy and have fun participating in them. By the
way, you will notice that their names start with the alphabets ‘A’,
‘B’ and ‘C’, but I would like to place on record that we do not have
the intention of making it to ‘Z’!”
undergrad student at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, where
I obtained my B.Sc in Chemical Engineering and a MBA focusing on
General Management, I recall a professor telling us that our
training as Chemical Engineers will give us a base that will allow
us to branch out into any occupation in the world. Based on my
experience with the diverse organizations I have worked for thus
far, he was not far from the truth.
SSC was a big challenge, and initially filled with mixed emotions.
After 14 years in the private sector, first with DuPont and then
with National Starch & Chemical (a member of ICI), I was quite
comfortable in my career progression and I knew where I was and how
I could progress further.
The Oon family at the
“I viewed the SSC
job as a higher calling, one where I could utilize my business
leadership and experience, sports excellence background, diverse
arts and community involvement, and academic background to
contribute to Sporting Singapore.”
Sports built the
character attributes necessary for me to compete in the global
marketplace. I don’t see why I can help my fellow Singaporeans
benefit from it as well”.
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