Top local swim coach David Lim has returned to the club where he began his coaching career almost two decades ago.
The former Olympian rejoined the Chinese Swimming Club (CSC) on Jan 1 as its new technical director of swimming and will supervise all training programmes for its 753 swimmers, who include 97 at the competitive level.
The three-time Sportsman of the Year had retired after 12 years of competitive swimming in 1992 and spent two formative years coaching at CSC before he left in 1994 and founded his own swim school, Swimfast Aquatic Club (SAC), which he still runs.
Lim, 48, an ever-present figure with the national set-up who has led the squad to major competitions like the Olympics and World Championships, is currently in Brisbane's Gold Coast for a training camp with a small group of national swimmers and could not be reached for comment.
The return of the former backstroke specialist, who has groomed swim stars like Asian Games butterfly double gold medallist Tao Li and multiple SEA Games gold medallists Quah Ting Wen and Amanda Lim, was hailed by CSC president Edwin Lee.
He said: "I am very happy and excited for David to join us and look forward to him working collaboratively with the club to bring swimming to even greater heights."
The 105-year-old CSC was one of the Republic's premier swim clubs and had a history of developing prominent national swimmers and Olympians, including Patricia Chan, Desmond Koh, Mark Chay, Gary Tan and Lim himself.
It dominated the Sanya Sammakki Cup - a prestigious regional ASEAN swim club annual meet - in the early 1990s but its standing has dulled since the turn of the millennium with the growth of private swim schools like Lim's outfit SAC, Aquatic Performance Swim Club helmed by Ang Peng Siong and the formation of the Singapore Sports School.
Lim's task will be to "reinvent and modernise the CSC's current swimming programme" and is seen by the club as the first steps towards regaining those past glory days. Assisting Lim at CSC will be the new head coach of the elite team, Eugene Chia, who was the former national assistant coach before ending his 18-month stint with the Singapore Swimming Association (SSA).
They will be joined by another familiar face in Aloysius Yeo, the SSA's high performance team manager for seven years before he left last October. He starts work as assistant swimming manager at the Amber Road club on Feb 1.
Noted its general manager Rosalind Tan: "The club aims to nurture world-class champions as it has done so in the past with a comprehensive training programme based on excellence in coaching principles with the support of sound facilities, coaching staff, sport science and technology.
"David shares our vision and is slated to helm and up the ante for the club's swimming programme to help nurture a bigger pool of top swimmers to represent the CSC and the nation."
This article was first published on January 9 2015.
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