Creativity meets opportunity for athlete podcast dads

Former athletes turned content creators waste no time in turning to online platforms to galvanise the community

PHOTO: SPORTPLUS.SG


One might think there is little in common between a former footballer, a rugby athlete and a water polo athlete; but when it comes to Shasi Kumar, Sidney Kumar and Alex Loh, it is easy to draw similarities between them.


All three are doting fathers and family men with a fierce passion for sport and education, and it doesn't just stop there.


They each value self-improvement and life-long learning, and have stared long enough into the eyes of failure to know that greater lessons lie on the other side. An athlete's mindset some call it.


What we probably didn't see coming was that all three would turn to podcasting over the 2020 Circuit Breaker period - using the online medium as a vehicle to motivate and encourage their respective communities, sharing valuable lessons to keep everyone going.


Their time as athletes may have long been over, but at a time where the country needed citizen leaders, they made the choice to step forward.


Hustle beats talent, when talent doesn't hustle


Shasi Kumar, a former professional footballer who also once held the title of youngest local head coach in the S-League in 2010, found inspiration in starting his Silverfox Hustle Podcast last year over the Circuit Breaker period.


Placing a huge emphasis on "hustlers", his interviews talk great work ethics regardless of an individual's choice of career path, and it's small wonder that his guests are all hustlers!


PHOTO: SHASI KUMAR FACEBOOK


The physical education lecturer and free lance football commentator's firm belief that hard work still beats talent when talent doesn't hustle stems from personal experience.


"I draw on my personal beliefs of walking the talk, work ethics, positive attitude and the underdog spirit," he explained.


"I wanted to inspire people through the podcast. My guests are the rock stars who have achieved success in their own right by demonstrating the same 'hustle' attitude in their lives."


PHOTO: SHASI KUMAR FACEBOOK


Educator, Self-Improver and Comedian


For self-declared 35 year-old teenager and former Team Singapore rugby athlete Sidney Kumar, podcasting was a platform to kill off boredom when schools were closed, and it also turned out to be a useful skillset he picked up in order to stay relevant as a content creator.


"I started the Create Don't Hate podcast for two reasons," shared the father of two. "To document sports stories and provide a legacy for the next generation of aspiring athletes."


"Secondly, it is to provide continued exposure to the sports scene in Singapore."

PHOTO: SIDNEY KUMAR FACEBOOK


The St Andrew's Secondary School teacher is of the belief that while the mainstream media highlights gold medals and special stories, there is way more that the local sports scene provides than meets the eye, and every athlete has a story to tell.


"The more we expose these stories, the more the next generation of youths will benefit," he added.


To bring his project to fruition, Sidney did not have a fixed location for his podcast recording sessions. Instead he often books different studios out of his own pocket money in order to keep this passion going.

PHOTO: SIDNEY KUMAR FACEBOOK


What initially started out as just having fun went on to become a full blown idea of inspiring the wider sporting community through humour, entertainment, and whatever else "floats the audience's bloat".


Redefining Gender Roles for Men in their 40s


Solopreneur Alex Loh on the other hand, does not have just one podcast, but two as part of his outreach efforts. The former national water polo athlete who has scaled the heights of SEA Games glory back in 2001, now turns his focus towards connecting people and helping individuals uncover their life purpose.


His first podcast, titled Lost At 40, targets men in their 40s who are breadwinners, and have a family to support with elders to care for.

PHOTO: ALEX LOH LINKEDIN


Discussions in the Lost at 40 podcast series aim to break away from the social norm of what society expects of men in their 40s, as part of his efforts to help men reconnect with themselves as unique individuals with a heart and a duty of care.


Loh shared: "I felt I'm not the only one experiencing these challenges and there could be many other men (and fathers) who might benefit from my sharing of vulnerabilities and stories with guests."


Athlete's Grit: From Sports to Life, on the other hand, is a podcast interview series featuring guests who are current and former high performance athletes.

PHOTO: ALEX LOH FACEBOOK


Conversations here are centered around how skills that are learnt and acquired from competitive sport could be translated into one's professional and personal life, with the hope of using true stories of grit-overcoming-adversity to inspire and motivate listeners.


"For Athlete's Grit, I had the idea that if my story as a high performance athlete inspired some people, wouldn't all these other stories of high performance athletes inspire even more people," Loh added.


"So I decided to start the interview series to share more stories of the athletes in my network."


All three athletes' podcasts can now be played directly on SportPlus.sg's entertainment platform Studio Plus, and are also available individually on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Buzz Sprout.


Stay tuned for SportPlus.SG's very own podcast coming soon in the not so distant future! We hope to leave you feeling inspired, and don't forget to share them with your friends and families too.


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