05 Jan Dr Bala – Fresh New Blood in Singapore Athletics
If you keen and have queries, please contact Coach Rameshon at 9100 4369 or you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Please refer to website http://flexifitness.com.sg (for more information on him and his programmes)
By Tan Mariviv
Dr Bala – Being featured in Tabla Newspaper on 30th December 2016
I was delighted to hear that there would be some kind of new blood coming to Singapore Athletics. Actually, I know about Dr Bala through Coach Rameshon as the new leader of Training and Selection for Singapore Athletics, and it is time that we have a young leader to do this mammoth task which needs time to bring Singapore Athletics to the next step. Sports SG’s support in this is very important. Coach Rameshon has shared a lot of information about Dr Bala during our training sessions and it is worth noting.
In the Year 2015, while Dr Bala was the Team Manager for Singapore Athletics, South East Asian Games, held in Singapore, our country won many medals for athletics. Coach Rameshon’s portfolio was Head of Middle and Long Distance Coach for our local athletes. Both were working together and the wake up at 5am and sleep at 1 am for the sake of Singapore Athletes for the full 10 days of athletics during South East Asian Games. They came forward to do this voluntary work and to see the success of Singapore Athletics. Coach Rameshon told,” I did not get the SG 50 coin for a voluntary job, which some other coaches got it, but it is ok! If you ask me on whether 10 days income was lost or Sports SG or SAA gave me compensation, I got nothing but the joy of serving. I did it so that I can help Dr Ashley Liew to race in the marathon”. ” “I was happy to work with Dr Bala as he is one of the best in caring for athletes.”
To discuss about Dr Bala, in the past, it was great to hear that Dr Bala dominated athletics in his teenage years, especially in Caltex Age Group Championships, where there was no one to match his talent and hardworking ways. He collected all the gold medals in the meet and made many long-distance athletes envious, especially my friend Ow Kok Meng. From the facts and figures, I realised that Dr Bala is one of the greatest long-distance runners that Singapore has ever produced, Coach Rameshon said, “Many in Singapore are ignorant about this, and they are not well informed on this and it is sad, even you can’t find this in books”.
(Left to Right) Coach Rameshon, Haile Gebrselassie, Dr Bala, Cheo, Eliza (Dr Bala’s 2015 SEA Games Runner) and Peggy
Why is Dr Bala one of the greatest athletes in Singapore, Back then in the 1990s, Dr Bala had already done the incredible sub-32min for 10km, when, in fact, there was not much-running technology and scientific improvements, as it is easily available now? From what I know, there are only 5 athletes who have done a sub-32min for 10km, for local athletes. Dr Bala has done a timing of 31min 36sec for 10km.
The sad thing is that there is no mention about him in books, magazines, Swift newsletter, internet and even newspapers, Mentioning his name is very important as it would be worthwhile for people to know about Dr Bala, which many people don’t seem to know up till now and it is sad. Upon reading a book called Lasting Strides, I found out that Dr Bala and even our Coach Rameshon’s name were not being mentioned, along with other great athletes were also not being recognised, and published as well, even though they had made a massive impact in the running scene. The book Lasting Strides has not been instrumental in painting the true complete story of great achievements of Dr Bala and Coach Rameshon. I believe that they should include as then the book brings validity to the source. It is not just the gold medals, but progressions and national record as well. I am puzzled by the fact that some athletes name were stated in that book even though they made a minor impact compared in Singapore running scene as compared to Dr Bala and Coach Rameshon and some other athletes who had made a huge impact in running.
As far as I am concerned it is my personal opinion that if the two – Dr Bala and Coach Rameshon – are not informed in books like Lasting Strides then one will not know that true Singapore Athletics history as a whole. Perhaps, it is important to do a write up so that the book becomes all-inclusive.
Aside from that, Dr Bala being the Vice President of Singapore Athletics Association, he never fails to come down for the Saturdays Centralised Training no matter how busy he is unless he is in overseas! It is definitely a sacrifice that one has to do! Coach Rameshon adds, ” In the past, I did not see this”.
Having said that, I would like more people to read and know about Dr Bala as he is one of the greatest athletes that we athletes should know. Hence, I am thankful and appreciative of Tabla, especially Patrick Jonas, the editor of Tabla for doing this amazing write up on Dr Bala.
Rameshon has taught in Hwa Chong Institution, plus several schools, and Republic Polytechnic as well. He has won many accolades and he was awarded Merit Award for 1991 marathon performance in breaking the national record of Singapore, at that time. He has made 22 male athletes do the marathon in sub-3hrs. He has made 7 female runners do sub-4 hours for the marathon, as well. He was inducted to the ‘Roll of Honour’ by the then College of Physical Education, organised by Singapore Olympic Academy, in 1998, for breaking the National record repeatedly 4 times, till he did 2hr 24min 22sec).
He also has a Coaching group and he trains them on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 7pm at Botanic Gardens. Those interested can call him at 91004369 for coaching assistance, to improve performance. There is also personal training that he does for many in a week. You can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.