Athletes Who Build Bridges - Wacker Chemie AG


Athletes Who Build Bridges

A program any sports club could be proud of: jogging, indoor football ("Futsal"), badminton darts and table tennis matches, bowling evenings and nature trails. Additionally, to strengthen the bond between team members, there are visits to the cinema or excursions to a farm.

The Sports and Recreation Committee (SRC) in Singapore wishes to strengthen team spirit and contribute toward an enjoyable and vibrant atmosphere at work.

Only this program is offered by a company and not a club: WACKER subsidiary Siltronic in Singapore. And their own employees are the target group. "We want to build team spirit and contribute toward an enjoyable and vibrant atmosphere at work," says William Low, Chairman of the Sports and Recreation Committee, or SRC for short, in which 25 staff members are involved.

The 42-year-old Singapore-born IT engineer has worked at WACKER's Siltronic subsidiary since 2007. He is responsible for process and production automation. At the beginning of this year, the management appointed him to take over the SRC leadership. Why him in particular? He has no idea. "Maybe it's a test," he said, laughing.

His supervisors must have been aware that William is good with people and that he performs his work conscientiously. Every month there is at least one sporting event; whether small or large, these require time and effort in planning and execution for the chairman. Yet he is very happy and positive about his role. "Working with fellow staff members has taught me a great deal and it is wonderfully rewarding when we are successful."

And it must be borne in mind that SRC builds important bridges. July saw the merging of 200 mm and 300 mm silicon-wafer production and now just over 1,000 colleagues work under one roof. The Sports and Recreation Committee was the first combined effort that involved employees from both plants prior to the merger. It turns out that chairman William and his committee also act as integration managers.

William Low (far right) with (from left) Lawrence Lee, Siantar Suparman, Sebastian Low, Cammy Lai, Huey Jing Yong, Eka Viviantira, Hong Chan Chuah and Ramesh Palani.

The committee did a great job. Some 500 employees took part in the first six events this year. One highlight in August was a nature trail in Singapore's MacRitchie Reservoir Park, with its famous Tree Top Walk, along a narrow, 250-meter-long suspended bridge spanning the tree tops. Many Siltronic employees participated and were accompanied by their families.

Are Singapore's inhabitants generally keen on sport? "Practically everyone I know has a favorite sport," says William. He feels the enjoyment of getting some exercise compensates for the stressful life-style that is ubiquitous in the busy metropolis. "Sport provides a good balance." William is a multi-talent himself: he swims, jogs and plays table tennis and badminton. Yet he has to miss out on some of the activities organized by SRC. "I have to see that everything runs smoothly."

Each event is followed by a screening of the SRC's PowerPoint presentations in the foyer and the canteen. For those who took part, it is an honor – and an incentive for the rest, hopes William. "Then colleagues can see what they have missed out on, and be motivated to join in the next time."