SINGAPORE: Singapore Aquatics will launch the Aquatics Hall of Fame in 2024 for its 85th anniversary celebrations. The Hall of Fame will honour Singaporeans who have distinguished themselves in the water in sports such as swimming, diving, water polo, artistic swimming and open-air swimming.
This was announced on Sunday, Oct 15, during a Farewell to Toa Payoh party at the Toa Payoh Sports Centre, where Alan Goh, CEO of Sport Singapore, was the guest of honour. The gathering brought together current and former aqua athletes at the venue built to host the 1973 Southeast Asian Peninsular Games (SEAP), now known as the Southeast Asian Games.
Among those present were the national water polo team that participated in the 2022 Asian Games, the national artistic swimming team, 2016 Olympic gold medallist Joseph Schooling, former national water polo player Lim Teck Yin, and swimming legend Patricia Chan, who won an impressive 39 gold medals at the SEAP Games from 1965 to 1973.
Chan, who chaired the Singapore Aquatics’ Legacy Council shared, “The Hall of Fame, when launched next year, will celebrate the rich legacy of Singapore Aquatics in the past 85 years. It is not just to pay tribute to our sporting heroes. But more importantly, it is a way for us to tell our stories to the future generations.”
“For example, we want people to know that, yes, you may be familiar with swimmer Joseph Schooling, who won Singapore’s first Olympic gold medal. But did you also know that Singapore also had a world-beater in Ang Peng Siong when he was the fastest man over 50 metres? The Hall of Fame will serve to honour people who have taken the plunge before, even as we dive into the next chapter of our aquatic story,” added Chan, who was named Singapore’s Sportswoman of the Year for five consecutive years from 1967.
Chan also competed in the 1966 and 1970 Asian Games, both held in Bangkok, Thailand. In the first outing, she won three bronze medals, and four years later, she brought home three silver and four bronze medals.
With major competitions like the 2025 World Championships and the 2029 SEA Games set to take place in Singapore, Singapore Aquatics president Mark Chay hopes to get more members of the aquatics community to be a part of these events.
“These events are as much for the community as it is for the athletes. So whether it is being part of the organisation of these events, volunteering for various roles or serving as mentors to some of our up-and-coming swimmers, we want to foster a closely-knit aquatics community in the coming years,” said Chay, a former national swimmer and Olympian.
Induction into the Aquatics Hall of Fame is not only reserved for aquatic athletes; it is also open to those who have positively influenced the sport as administrators, coaches or even members of the media. A nomination panel has been formed to select the inaugural batch of inductees next year. Inductees must be Singaporeans or Singapore permanent residents. More details of the eligibility and selection process will be revealed by Singapore Aquatics next year./TISG