National gold medallist turned champion father
Written by Tricia Tan; Artwork by Tanya Shroff.
This article is part of Active Parents’ Meet the Coaches series, brought to you in collaboration with Republic Polytechnic, School of Management and Communication.
Lucas Teo, 32, was introduced to the world of canoeing at the age of 13 when he joined the CCA in school. In just three years, his passion and talent in the sport clinched him a spot in the Singapore’s National Canoe Sprint Team. With numerous opportunities to compete under the Singapore flag, Lucas has bagged a gold and silver medal each at the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.
Fast forward to 2019, Lucas started coaching at the Kid-in-a-Kayak programme, the predecessor of the ActiveSG Canoe Academy (ACA). Realising the joy of coaching the youth, he seized the offer to join ACA as a full-time coach when it was presented to him.
“I enjoyed the process, and as more coaching opportunities came, I took them up and here I am,” he said with a smile.
Lucas is now in charge of the Canoe Sprint Team, where he coaches youth from junior to the national level, whose ages range from 10 to 17.
“I am glad to be able to witness the positive changes in the students and watch them become more consistent in their routine,” said the young father.
Being a father had also changed his approaches to coaching. When asked how the birth of his now two-year-old son, Isaac, has impacted his coaching, he said, “I now have heightened awareness and would be more concerned about my students’ safety just like how I would coach my own kid, especially in water sport."
Teaching canoeing, to Lucas, is just like being a patient father. He lives by his philosophy of being consistent and resilient. He imparts this ethos to his students so they could “learn to juggle and balance well between study and sport, put effort in their schoolwork consistently, and have the discipline to commit to their plan in spite of challenges”.
Even at home, he will always encourage his son to “try again” when he trips while learning how to walk. Resilience is a a value that Lucas firmly believes in and will inculcate his son and students to become better persons in and beyond sport.