Enabling my children’s dreams as national sailors

18 June 2024

“Knee-deep in the lapping waves along the shores of East Coast Park, I relied on muscle memory from years of weekly practice to steady the sailboat against the calm tide.

It was 1pm on a sweltering Saturday, and the beginning of six hours of sailing training.

I did a final scan of the sail-ties that secured the sail to the mast, slotted in the daggerboard and fixed the rudder, before launching the boat off the slippery ramp… for my nine-year-old son.

I watched him sail into the distance, before returning on the shore to my other two children, aged six and four, who were happily playing with their friends. My wife had also just returned from dropping our 12-year-old daughter, a more seasoned sailor (yes, we have four kids) off at the National Sailing Centre.

With the two young ones in tow, we’d then run our weekly errands over the next few hours, before returning to pick up our two sailors.

This is how we’ve spent our weekends – yep, both days – for the last two years since my daughter first found her passion in the sport. Apart from the weekends, my wife and father-in-law take turns to send them for training an additional one to two times a week.

Our daughter has tried her hand at the ballet, gymnastics, athletics, piano and drawing, but nothing took off as much as sailing did.

I know exactly what it’s like when you find a passion that sticks. It took me seven years and five different roles in various companies before I found my place at DBS – and I’ve been here for the last 17 years.

At DBS, I’m in the business of facilitating transformation. I’ve been involved in the various programmes that has made DBS the customer-obsessed, data driven and agile organisation it is today.

These days, I support various performance cells, which comprise cross-functional members across the bank, to continuously improve the way they collaborate to deliver their customers journeys.

As a coach, I listen, observe and understand each team’s context and challenges, before working with them to explore and experiment with relevant practices.

It has been such a rewarding journey so far. Beyond helping the teams to continuously improve, I’ve also gained much – from getting a better understanding of various businesses, to forming new relationships with folks from different parts of the organisation.

Whether it's supporting my colleagues in reaching their business goals or encouraging my children to follow their passion, I am truly blessed and grateful for the opportunities and trust placed in me."

 - Soh Cheow Tuan, GSTAR (Group Strategy, Transformation, Analytics & Research)