The Singapore Swimming Association (SSA) will be renamed Singapore Aquatics (SAQ) from July 1 to better reflect the multidisciplinary nature of Singapore’s most successful sport.
In announcing the name change and unveiling of a new logo at the 2023 SSA Awards and Appreciation Night at the Raffles City Convention Centre om March 31, SSA president Mark Chay said that the new name reflects the true ethos of the sport.
He said: “We are the only sport, which literally is many sports in one. In Singapore, while we may be called the Singapore Swimming Association, we are also about diving, water polo, artistic swimming and open water swimming. We are five sports, united by water, by one flag and by one community for one mission: to make Singapore a world-class aquatics nation.”
Unveiled by Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Second Minister for Law Edwin Tong, Chief Executive Officer (Designate) Sport Singapore Alan Goh and Mr Chay, the logo is inspired by the image of an athlete swimming.
The ‘Q’ in ‘Aquatics’ is stylised to resemble an athlete cutting through water, with the circular arc of the ‘Q’ resembling a swimming cap, and its tail extending into a wave that sweeps across the logo.
The overall design symbolises the passion of those who are driving Singapore forward on the world aquatics stage.
Mr Chay said that the push behind the name and logo change is to promote greater inclusivity in the sport.
For the first time at an SSA ceremony, para swimmers from the Singapore Disability Sports Council were also honoured for their involvement in major competition – as a gesture to recognise fellow members of Singapore’s aquatic family.
Mr Chay, a former national swimmer and current Nominated Member of Parliament, added that the name change will also help raise the profile of the less popular aquatic sports.
He said: “Swimming and water polo have enjoyed a rich tradition in Singapore sport. And while they still enjoy great success and a healthy following, the other aquatic disciplines like diving, aquatics, swimming and open water swimming are growing and beginning to show results on the world stage.”
While Singapore’s dominance in water polo and swimming, especially on the regional stage, have been well documented – culminating in swimmer Joseph Schooling winning Singapore’s first Olympic gold
in 2016 – athletes from the other disciplines have recently come to the fore.
Last year, diver Max Lee, 15, became the first Singaporean to finish in the top four of the World Junior Diving Championships. In aquatic swimming, Debbie Soh and Miya Yong finished among the top Asian countries at last year’s World Championships.
Said Max: “As a diver, I am excited that we are now Singapore Aquatics. Even though it’s only a name change, just being recognised as one big family, will further strengthen the bonds between the various aquatics sports.”
The name change is the association’s second since it was founded in 1939 as the Singapore Amateur Swimming Association, or SASA. It changed to SSA in 2002.
Over $360,000 raised through sponsorship and donations
The evening also saw over $370,000 raised for the sport through sponsorship and donations.
Among the sponsors are Amino Vital, OCBC Bank, 100Plus, Yakult, Evacuation and Medical Support Unit Pte Ltd and TYR.
The money raised will go towards supporting the sport’s high performance programmes such as Pathway Development for Team Singapore athletes and
providing opportunities for elite athletes to compete on the world’s biggest stages, like the World Championships.
The money raised will be eligible for the One Team Singapore Fund, which matches all the donations, dollar for dollar.
Said Mr Chay: “We are grateful for the strong support of our sponsors and partners. They are the unsung heroes who help provide the platform for our athletes to go out there and do Singapore proud.”