Daily Lessons from Life 12 January 2017 - Sgp #metoo!!
"Singapore national hurdler files official complaint accusing coach of misconduct
SINGAPORE: National hurdler Kerstin Ong has lodged an official complaint with governing body Sport Singapore (SportSG) accusing a former coach of misconduct.
In a statement on Tuesday (Jan 9) signed by the 20-year-old and seen by Channel NewsAsia, Ong describes verbal and physical behaviour by the former coach which left her “uncomfortable”.
According to her statement, she initially took the matter to Singapore Athletics (SA) and the association went about interviewing the relevant athletes in her training group.
But Ong said some of her teammates – who were either witnesses if not on the receiving end of the coach’s conduct - feigned ignorance when questioned, and later retracted statements which backed up her account.
She explained: “They were upset I reported it. They said I should always try to solve it from within. I guess you’re always taught to protect your coach.
“They started ignoring me... I was really sad, they were friends and they turned against me,” said Ong, tearing at the memory.
Then in October last year the #metoo movement went viral, with millions around the world using the social media hashtag to share experiences of sexual assault and harassment.
One of them was Hong Kong hurdler Vera Lui, a friend and competitor to Ong. It was Lui’s decision to voice out which gave the Singaporean the “strength” to step forward - and encourage others to do the same.
“If it’s wrong, it’s wrong… We don’t have to be afraid, and we shouldn’t tolerate this. Why must somebody suffer in silence?"
She added: “I think in sports, it’s very common. I’m talking about this so maybe other athletes can come forward as well.”
Ong however admitted it was “hard to be confrontational”.
“You always respect your coach so you don’t really get angry with him, and I also didn’t dare ….” she trailed off.
“But from the start, I should have said ‘Coach, I don’t think this is acceptable’ - before it became worse.”
When contacted, SA president Ho Mun Cheong would only say: “We have already terminated his service. The case is already closed.”
“If it’s a criminal case and the coach is found guilty, the association will let the court have final judgment. We don’t wish to comment any further.”"
This is revealing! Male coach taking advantage of his charges in inappropriate manner that caused discomfort n even psychological trauma. This when the coach is expected to be protective n develop his charges! This misbehaviour MUST NOT be tolerated.
This "we hv no comment" stance by the relevant authoritie is just pathetic n very negative vibe would be sent! The PR of these authorities better pulled up their sleeves n really get going. Coach them to say: we cannot comment as it is under police investigation or we r investigating now n need a bit more time before providing any concrete n accurate information!!
While it will be stupid to prohibite different genders mix of coach n choachee, it is true extra care must be exercised by the male coach whenever coaching a female charges.
Do we hv such male or female abusers? Hopefully not! If so, it will mean greater, faster n stronger actions to change this inappropriate behaviour!!