In The Passenger Seat: Calvin Lim, Founder of EduTorque

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Calvin1(Photo: EduTorque)

From textbooks to go-karting, EduTorque provides an all-immersive approach to teaching automotive in Singapore. It all started when Calvin Lim, an ex-MOE teacher, sparked the idea of combining his passion for cars and teaching. Thus, EduTorque was born.

Calvin loved Motorsports from a young age and after many years of teaching, he decided to make full use of his passion to create more opportunities in Motorsports for youths in Singapore.

Through EduTorque, its programmes help ignite interest in the community at an early age and opens doors for them in the future.

In 2020, EduTorque celebrates its 10th anniversary, and continues to lead the race in providing automotive education in Singapore!

Let’s have a chat with Calvin to get his take on Motorsports in Singapore:

2020 Sg 4(Photo: EduTorque)

You mentioned that you have a passion for Motorsports. What is your story?

This passion was ignited when I watched Aryton Senna racing in the Formula 1 (F1) when I was 10. That was in 1988 when Aryton Senna won the Formula 1 World Drivers Championships. Watching the cars and the way he drove them piqued my interest, so I started buying car magazines and car kits to find out more about cars; how they worked, different models and drivetrains available. Also, I wanted to understand the different types of races.

I always try to attend different track days to understand different cars better and push myself and my car to the limit. I even went to the extent of getting myself different cars with different drivetrains to fully appreciate driving them.

Calvin Teaching(Photo: EduTorque)

What are your thoughts on pursuing Motorsports in Singapore?

Motorsports is an expensive sport and you need sponsors to support you and your team. Currently, we do have National Sports Associations (NSA) like Motor Sports Singapore (MSS) to hold sanctioned races for interested race car drivers locally. However, it is still challenging in Singapore due to our limited land size and costs. Most competitions are held overseas currently and funding is through sponsorships.

Fortunately, we do have quite an active community of sim racers and Kart racers in Singapore. The barrier of entry to sim racing and kart racing is much lower due to the support of various associations, event organisers and kart tracks that help to promote Motorsports.

I believe that as long as there is passion and sustained interests in Motorsports through proper educational programmes and events, the future of Motorsports in Singapore will flourish and grow.

2016 Mayflower(Photo: EduTorque)

Any advice for youths who want to pursue this profession?

My advice will be to expand your social network in the automotive scene and be willing to learn. If you are good enough, people will notice and may even sponsor you.

What inspired you to start Singapore’s first automotive education provider? Any story behind it?

EduTorque was started as a marriage of my two greatest passions in life, teaching and cars. Since I was young, I have always loved cars and will always buy car magazines, car model kits to fuel my passion. My dream car when I got my license was the Evo 6.

As for my teaching background, I was a Ministry of Education (MOE) teacher for four years, and Head of Department (HOD) for two years when I decided to leave the service in 2010 to start EduTorque.

At that time, Science of Motor Vehicles was in the Science syllabus and I saw a gap in which there was an opportunity to add value to the students by creating a customised and interesting curriculum to inspire, educate and ignite their passion in the automotive and Motorsports industry.

The journey was not easy but I am thankful for my partners and sponsors for supporting EduTorque.

Whats App Image 2020 08 27 At 5(Photo: EduTorque)

What is EduTorque?

EduTorque is a automotive education company set up in 2010 with a vision to be the most recognized automotive education provider in South East Asia. Our mission is to create an appreciation of the automotive industry and its diverse working environment as well as to ignite our youths’ passion in automotive and Motorsports and achieve their potential in this industry.

Whats App Image 2020 08 27 At 5(Photo: EduTorque)

What were some challenges you faced when you started EduTorque?

The biggest challenge was to change the mindset of some of my school clients about Motorsports. Motorsports is very misunderstood by the general public here. People tend to think that Motorsports is all about reckless driving, modifications and illegal races. This is due to the influx of movies such the Fast and Furious franchise, and video games such as Need for Speed.

The greatest satisfaction and enjoyment for me is when I go to schools and educate the mindset of my students and youths about what Motorsports actually is and the values and hard work they need to put in to succeed in this sport. Like any sport, you need proper training, discipline and fitness. It is nothing like arcade driving machines

Img 69841st Gear Textbook Covers (Photo: EduTorque)

What is the most popular programme?

Our flagship and most popular programme is called ‘1st Gear’. This programme provides a holistic view of the automotive industry in Singapore and is coupled with our in-house designed textbook. This is a popular program in schools as it covers science and mathematics topics and their applications to cars. It also includes enrichment and career experiences for our students.

Over the decade, were there any interesting stories of your students in the programme?

Yes, there are many stories to share but the most inspiring one was about our student who was disabled and needed a wheelchair to move around. He loves cars a lot and he was one of our most attentive and enthusiastic student!

It’s especially heartening when he joined his classmates for the Go Karting session and his peers pushed him around the circuit while explaining the driving lines to him. The camaraderie displayed was really touching and it really affirms my belief that, “The Heart of Education is the Education of the Heart”.

Whats App Image 2020 08 27 At 5(Photo: EduTorque)

What can youths take away from EduTorque programmes?

Besides gaining basic knowledge about cars, they will also get to learn proper driving techniques using our motion driving simulators, the values in Motorsports as well as have a better understanding of the various careers available to the automotive industry in Singapore.

How does enrolling in Edutorque help create job opportunities?

We have many automotive-related partners which includes both Multi-National Corporations (MNC) and Small or Medium-sized Enterprise (SME). With our vast network, we strive to prepare our students and alumni through in-house training courses and give them an opportunity to join our industry when there are job vacancies available.

Whats App Image 2020 08 27 At 5(Photo: EduTorque)

What was the most memorable experience over the decade for EduTorque?

The most memorable experience was the one in which we got the opportunity to go Myanmar to teach a class of young adults. Although there was a language barrier, the class had fun and their willingness to learn was inspiring.

What is EduTorque’s biggest milestone to date?

EduTorque’s biggest milestone has to be the setup of our alumni which comprises a community of car lovers and youths who attended our courses before. We believe in life-long education. Hence we are offering opportunities for our alumni to be involved in automotive and Motorsports even after the courses we conducted in schools.

Currently, we have around 200 alumni youth members since its inception in 2020 and we want it to grow so that we can provide more value, job opportunities and positive influence in our community.

Interested in a career in the automotive industry and not sure where to start? Find out more on EduTorque and their programmes on Facebook, Instagram and website!

This interview has been edited and condensed.

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