Every day is a field day for Sarah Clements, though the successful career woman maintains one thing: family comes first.
INTERVIEW LOW LAI CHOW
When Sarah Clements talks about her two boys, the doting mother undeniably brightens up. “My children are like my oxygen,” she declares. “Watching them grow fills me with joy and pride. “
“I give the boys and my team everything I can so they can reach their greatest potential. More than anything else, I feel most satisfied when I watch them grow and exceed their own expectations.”
It comes as no surprise that, when asked to describe herself in a few words, the fiery lady says she is first and foremost, “a mother and a wife” – so much so that her maternal instincts have swayed the way she leads her team at work.
“I have the best team on the planet who I work hard to nurture, mentor and grow. They are like my kids too! I care a lot about each of them. Like in mother mode, I fuss and dedicate my day to helping them be the best they can be. I’m very proud of them.”
Her mothering style, according to her kids? “My eldest son Finn says I am loving as I clean up his vomit and that he would like me to relax more! My little one Perry just thinks I’m beautiful. He is such a lady killer – a sign of things to come, I fear!”
As vice president of tennis at Lagardère Sports Asia, Sarah admittedly has a tough gig, helming the delivery of leading events like the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore in October.
But it’s all par for the course: the exploratory soul grew up in Africa with her parents, who would move to a new country every couple of years or so: “As you can imagine, that experience will always be one of the greatest gifts of my life.”
In the eighties, Sarah relocated to Australia with her family and went on to work with events like the Australian Open, where she worked her way up from carrying out secretariat functions to eventually overseeing the tournament operations. “If I ever needed to dig deep for my organisational and stakeholder engagement skills, this was it! Through this journey, I learnt to dismiss negative influences and always think and exude positivity. ‘No’ was never ‘no’ as far as I was concerned.”
A Place to Call Home
Now, based in Singapore for the past three years, the self-confessed ‘expat child’ says the move has been a great eye-opening opportunity for her and her family.
“There are many similarities between Australia and Singapore. Under the busy and bustling exterior, people are genuine, spiritual, hardworking, family oriented and caring. With that being said, there are some differences that moving here has taught us. The pace of life here is faster, everything is uber-efficient and the approach to education is one I believe my children will benefit from.”
Her interest in both sports and entertainment have certainly trickled down to her children: 12-year-old Finn loves sports and plays tennis in school, while five-year-old Perry loves art and all things creative.
“To nurture their interests, I feel it is important to expose them to a wide range of activities and experiences at a young age, as well as a lot of sport. Because I also love anything from the creative industries, we spend wholesome, quality time doing a range of activities like visiting the new National Gallery, the Art Science Museum, reading, as well as travelling and going to the movies.”
“While it’s still early days, Finn and Perry seem to be developing very different characters. Finn is sportier, an old soul who builds really great relationships by being great mates with his friends.
He is mature and has an innate inner strength. Perry looks like an angel but really is a little devil. He enjoys being outside, is a great adventurer and very cheeky. He is more creative, spiritual and can be very sensitive.”
As for the traits she would most love her boy to take after her, Sarah says, “Values are a really important part of character building, and I’d really like my children to be kind, empathetic, loving, determined and always remember to put their family first… as parents, we demonstrate the values we expect our children to adopt. I am intolerant of bad behaviour or rudeness, and try to maintain high standards and expectations in that regard.”
“For me, parenting is a wondrous journey. While it is exhausting and frustrating at times, the reward of my investment in my family is priceless.”