General News

Hwa Chong Educator Coach For Life

10 Jul 2019
General Sports

The aim of the SPEA Outstanding Teacher-Coach Award is to recognize the outstanding contributions made by teacher-coaches with student-athletes in their respective sports or games in Singapore, and to encourage teacher-coaches in Singapore to raise their level of coaching practice.

We would like to congratulate Mr Woon Ta Wei David (Education Consultant/ PE, CCA & Outdoor Education) for being one of the recipients of the SPEA Outstanding Teacher-Coach Award.

To be selected for the Award, the nominee must have demonstrated the following:

  • Good professional knowledge through effective, engaging and well-thought coaching methods, and implementing appropriate and varied modes of assessment that enhance student-athletes’ performance.
  • Good inter-personal knowledge by establishing a supportive culture built on strong rapport and mutual trust with student-athletes, actively engaging and maintaining good relationship with the stakeholders, e.g., parents involved in the sport or game, and being a role model in the coaching community.
  • Good intra-personal knowledge by establishing a habit of reflecting own coaching sessions regularly, and taking ownership in seeking learning opportunities to improve and develop oneself holistically.

Mr Tok Aik Lin (Principal Consultant, PE &CCA) commended David:
“David has been a very passionate and committed High Jump Teacher Coach all these years. He takes pride in instilling the value of hard work and discipline in his charges. One who creates an environment that makes training fun and engaging, he is always looking for opportunities to learn from the best coaches around to upgrade his coaching skills. With most of his athletes excelling in local competitions, some going a step further to represent the Singapore Schools or Team Singapore in the regional competitions, he has certainly managed to inspire his charges to strive for excellence in both their sport and studies. Another unique aspect of his teaching-coaching is that it is not uncommon to see his athletes coming back to him for advice in life, even after they have started their working life. A Teacher-Coach for life, David certainly deserves the award for the Outstanding Teacher Coach.”

Mr Woon Ta Wei David shared that:

I have been coaching for 15 years since 2004. Prior to this, I was a former national athlete specializing in the High Jump event in Track & Field. My coaching journey began before deciding to become a teacher when I returned to my alma mater to coach my juniors and help my teacher who is also the school track & field coach. Since then, my coaching journey has taken me to coach from primary to varsity levels. It was this coaching journey that inspired me to eventually take on the challenge of becoming a teacher.

I continued to coach through my years in NIE in both Hwa Chong and in Nanyang Primary School. My graduation from NIE coincided with my nomination by parents for the now defunct POSB Everyday Champion Award. I was one of 9 coaches who was accorded this accolade in 2010. This award recognized individuals who nurture a sporting culture among Singaporeans.

As a teacher, my role has expanded to PE lessons, admin work and pastoral care since 2010. This goes beyond teaching the technicalities of doing a good jump. However, I have continued to evolve and still continue in my role as a high jump coach. By teaching my students how to manage their time, and having them do some of the workouts such as core exercises which can be done at home, during exam time or even on holidays, I have managed to shorten the time they need to be down for training. This created more time for them as well as myself. My students have gone on to represent our country at the combined schools, national youth and national level including the SEA games and Commonwealth Youth Games.

I share with my students my own experience, both past and present. To show my students that it is possible to balance duties and interest, I actively upgrade myself and have recently committed myself to attempt to do a second Masters to be a real-life example for them to follow. When my students are troubled with school or family matters, I make myself available to listen to them. I actively engage parents and involve them as part of the team in the development of their child both as a student and an athlete.

For the last 3 years, I worked with national high jumper Michelle Sng and Ronnie Cai to promote high jump to the masses and raise awareness about this sport through the media and events.

From 2004 till today, I still continue to coach my students 4 times a week as I have done for the last 15 years. I am still present at the weekend competitions to guide them. I am still there when they need advice on training, family issues, studies and tips on growing up.

I cherish every moment that I have to coach my students and I feel privileged that it has worked out this way! Carpe Diem!

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