Singapore Aquatics inducts Aquatics Hall of Fame athletes

Singapore Aquatics (SAQ) celebrated the unveiling of its inaugural Singapore Aquatics Hall of Fame athletes during its 85th Anniversary Gala Fundraising Dinner at the Raffles Convention Centre on May 10, 2024.

The event, presented by Modern Wealth Academy, was graced by Guest-of-Honour President Tharman Shanmugaratnam, accompanied by Ms Jane Ittogi, Minister for Community, Culture and Youth and Second Minister for Law Edwin Tong, Olympic gold medallist Joseph Schooling and other swimming greats such as Patricia Chan and Junie Sng.

The Singapore Aquatics Hall of Fame was initiated as a tribute to individuals who have made indelible contributions to Singapore’s aquatic community.

Recognition into the Hall of Fame not only celebrates the achievements of the aquatics legends but also serves as an inspiration for future generations.

A total of 12 inductees made up the inaugural Hall of Fame batch, ranging from the 1951 Asian Games 4x100m freestyle relay team of Barry Mitchell, Lionel Chee, Neo Chwee Kok and Wiebe Wolters to the 2016 Olympic champion Joseph Schooling.

Said Singapore Aquatics Legacy Council Chair Patricia Chan: “The inductees laid the foundations for our Aquatic Nation. They showed us how determination and dedication lead to excellence. They paved the way for the aquathletes of today and tomorrow. We must not forget them and what they achieved. Singapore Aquatics recognised this some years ago, and we formed the Legacy Council.”

“The mission of the Council is to make sure that our rich history of aquatic sports is properly documented, remembered and shared. This is why we are now launching the Singapore Aquatics Hall of Fame. We will recognise and celebrate our most outstanding aquathletes. And also those who have done so much to develop aquatic sports in Singapore – coaches, administrators, sponsors, officials, volunteers.”

Said Singapore’s swim queen of the 1970s and the early 1980s Junie Sng: “Being inducted into the Singapore Aquatics Hall of Fame is a tremendous honour. It is a recognition of not just my achievements, but also the countless hours of dedication and hard work put in by everyone who has supported me along the way. I am truly grateful to be part of such a prestigious legacy, and I hope to inspire future generations to pursue excellence in the world of aquatics.”

Para-swimmers Yip Pin Xiu and Theresa Goh were also recognised as part of the inaugural batch. The Singapore Disability Sports Council (SDSC) was also recognised as a partner of the Singapore Aquatics Hall of Fame, with its representatives participating on the nomination panel to determine future inductees.

Said Singapore Disability Sports Council President Dr Teo-Koh Sock Miang: “This partnership between us and SAQ marks a significant milestone in our commitment to promote inclusivity and supporting athletes across a spectrum of abilities. We are thrilled to be part of SAQ’s Singapore Aquatics Hall of Fame to recognise the trailblazers of the aquatics field, further highlighting the diverse talents within our sporting community.”

SAQ also announced that through its fundraising efforts this year, including donations from well-wishers and sponsors during the dinner, over $1,000,000 will go towards benefitting aquatics in Singapore.

The funds – which included money raised from a charity golf event that took place on 3 April 2024 – will be distributed across four key areas – Grassroots Development, Development Pathways for the five aquatic sports, High-Performance Programmes, and a General Fund – for coach and staff development.

Among other programmes, the money raised today will go towards coaching and technical specialists to ensure that our swimmers who have qualified for the Paris 2024 Olympics will have the best preparation for the Games. In addition, SAQ will also use the funds to enhance infrastructure, and the daily training environment and support overseas training and competition opportunities.

Said SAQ President, Mark Chay: “The Singapore Aquatics Hall of Fame represents a milestone in our commitment to honour the remarkable contributions of individuals who have shaped Singapore’s aquatic community. We are privileged to recognise all these esteemed figures, whose achievements have left an everlasting mark on our sport.

“We also hope the funds raised will serve as a catalyst for our mission to advance the various facets of our sport. With these resources, we aim to expand competition and career support opportunities for our athletes and coaches while striving to create better training environments and infrastructure for our sports development.”

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