Swift Club – The Two Unsung Heroes Posted on July 31, 2018

By  Tan Mariviv

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Picture 1 – Coach Rameshon and Dr Bala, have sacrificed for Swift Club to excel, in the past.

When I got invited in two of Swift Club Annual Dinner, after the whole event, I decided to do some research on our own Flexifitness Head Coach, Coach Rameshon, and Dr Bala, who is currently the Vice President of Singapore Athletics.

I was amazed to find a number of things and deeds that these two have done, and it is a good idea for the public to be aware of this. Hence, I have decided to write about them in detail in another blog post. It is a good to write about their innumerable achievements, so that one does not lose out in getting historical facts correct.

Coach Rameshon, was thrice winner in King of the Mountain race in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He had to compete and win the then top runner, M. Kumar, who went to Bali to run, and did 10km in 32min 20sec. In another year, Coach Rameshon ran against Helmar Aslaksan, a Norwegian runner, who had done 31m 01sec personal best time in 10km track. Both opponent runners were defeated. Coach Rameshon said, ” I ran and won in the Community Center 10km race in the morning and then ran the King of the Mountain in Mount Faber to win the 10km race in the afternoon against the two mentioned elite runners, for separate years”. ” During that time, especially 1990s onwards, no Gurkha runners could beat me.”

In the Cross Country races in 1980s and 1990s, both Coach Rameshon and Dr Bala ran such that Swift Club always won. It came to a point that the two runners contributions, plus other Swift Club runners, made sponsors to come to Swift Club, for many years of winning as a Team.

As for Dr Bala, he was the steeplechase favourite in late 1980s. He also won the individual championship for winning 3 gold medals for three different events, which were distance events, in Caltex Age Group Championships. Like Coach Rameshon having a time of 31m 46sec, Dr Bala also has a time of 31min 26sec, few seconds away from the 10km National record.

Later on, in 1995, Coach Rameshon ran in 1995 SEA Games, in Thailand, and did a time of 2hr 24min 22sec, national record for the marathon race, which has been unbroken until now. In Cougar Cross Country, Dr Bala is the President and out of love for running, he has been organising races annually. In this year’s race, Coach Rameshon, at the age of 53, ran in Men Open race and came in third, with a time of 34min 45sec.

Coach Rameshon and Dr Bala are one of the five athletes in Singapore, for now to the impossible sub – 32min for 10km. Even now, both personalities are still keeping fit and it is good for Singaporeans to know about them. So, watch out in my next blog post as I am going to share some historical facts to fellow Singaporeans.