In the wake of 3 national swimmers having qualified for the 2016 Olympic Games, including superstar 100m butterfly gold medalist Joseph Schooling, the Singapore Swimming Association is enacting a revamp of sorts to its entire organization’s structure to help carry Olympic momentum.
Currently led by National Training Centre Head Coach Gary Tan, SSA is looking to bring in a new National Head Coach and Performance Director, one to whom both Tan and current SSA Technical Director Sonya Porter would report. This to-be-hired resource will be looked at to hold the total view of what’s needed to help cultivate, develop and perpetuate both junior and elite level talent within the nation.
“We must be focused on continuing to build a stronger eco-system for high-performance swimming that will ensure the sustainability of our success and a brighter future for Singapore swimming,” says SSA President Lee Kok Choy.
The Strait Times reports that several foreign candidates are currently being considered for the new role, with the expectation that the decision will be made prior to August’s SEA Games. SSA is also hoping to create a clearer development pathway with ‘centres of excellence’ designated for athletes to grow from ‘developing junior’ to elite.
Lee says, “SSA’s high performance development plan paves the way for greater successes in the long-term, enabling us to increase not only participation, but also medal targets at the upcoming SEA Games, Asian Games and Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
“We want to build the capabilities of our swimmers. Currently, we have less than 30 of them training with the National Training Centre (NTC), but we want to have 100 to 200 of them in order to have the chance to excel at every event.”