The ripple effects of Singaporean Joseph Schooling‘s Olympic gold medal are still being felt in his home nation, as the swimmer’s parents, Mary and Colin Schooling, have announced plans for a new Schooling Sports Academy. Initially aimed at focusing on a swim school to be opened in June, the ultimate goal is to add other sports as plans are rolled out toward the end of the year.
Mary Schooling tells Today, “The Schooling Sports Academy is created with a few objectives in mind. It is not only focused on training and competition. It will also provide athletes with a comprehensive and structured programme that covers all elements essential to high performance such as nutrition, performance analysis and even media training.
“We will also look at bringing in world-class coaches to help with the development of coaches in Singapore with the hope of improving the standard of coaching here.”
Instead of following the nationwide standard of swim schools within Singapore, the Schooling Academy will focus on a customized learn-to-swim program and series of tests. The official representative of the family, Hafidz Ja’afar says, “The work that needs to be put in is a lot because we need to come up with our own system, structure, framework and (figure out) who can endorse it. We want it to grow big … we want it to be possibly the national syllabus (in future).”
Bearing his name, however, the institution will not see Joseph Schooling involved any time soon, as Hafidz confirmed the Olympian is focusing on his undergraduate student-athlete status at the University of Texas. So, for right now, “He can play a part as a role model. Right now, he is in a position where he can inspire others and people can learn from him.”
The Schooling Sports Academy is just one of the Olympian-inspired swimming schools opened around the world, with Chad Le Clos having opened The Le Clos Academy and Katinka Hosszu having launched Iron Aquatics.