A Kannan

Guaranteed to see the world, get friends and keep you looking young as well - yes it is a dream job that many would vie for. Kannan has been doing this job all his life.

Arumugam Kannan can be described as a serial sports person. He has been involved in sports all his life. Besides being a sportsman, he has been working at the Singapore Sports Council for the past 40 over years as well, moving up the ranks from being just an assistant to leading a team, which maintains the sports equipment. Fit as a fiddle at the age of 65, he proudly proclaims that he has not even put in any sick leave for the last 10 years.

"My picture came out in the first page. Very unforgettable indeed!"

It could be described as a golden era for sports especially for Indian sportsmen in Singapore. In the late 60’s and 70’s, the sports scene was more than well represented byIndians. Kannan rattled off names like Kumaravel, Sivalingam, Selvarajah, Chandrasegaran and Prakash who were his contemporaries. One cannot also forget the likes of sportsmen like C Kunalan and P C Suppiah who went on to compete at international levels. Kannan himself set a record in the 50km walk at the Southeast Asian Peninsular Games (now known as SEA games) in 1969, which is still unbroken till today. Kannan and his contemporaries come from an era where involvement in sports was a matter of pride, honour and most importantly love. However the sports scene and the motivation to compete have changed since then.

"There was no income for us those days but we were happy to take part even then."

Kannan is very excited with the current sporting phase in his life. He is busy training for his Master’s event in which athletes above the age of 35 compete with each other according to their age groups. In fact, at the time of this interview, he was busy preparing for the Master’s event in Japan. While it has given opportunity for Kannan to do the things he loves to do, like travel and compete, it took some time for the Masters games to be duly recognised.

"Sports is my life. Through this, I have travelled to many countries and made friends."

Happily married with two sons, Kannan cites strong family support for his involvement in sports, which often takes him away on weekends and even longer during overseas competitions. But his wife is his companion on many of these trips and her friendship with members from the sports field helps her to understand the passion that drives people like Kannan to put their heart and soul into an interest that has made Singapore proud.


A dedication to the pioneers in the Indian community.

50Faces brings your stories of ordinary Singaporeans who have contributed to our community and nation building.