Swimming: SSA makes new 'friends'

Swimming: SSA makes new 'friends'
Current SSA president Jeffrey Leow will step down after eight years.

There will be a change in leadership at the Singapore Swimming Association (SSA) at their annual general meeting next Friday.

Current president Jeffrey Leow will step down after eight years and SSA secretary general Lee Kok Choy and Singapore Bowling Federation chief Jessie Phua will vie to replace him at the helm of one of the top national sports associations (NSA) in the country.

The new executive committee of the SSA will be boosted by fresh sponsorship deals worth $800,000.

Comprising cash and value-in-kind, TYR, Yakult Singapore and Volkswagen Group Singapore confirmed their partnership with SSA at the Volkswagen Showroom at Alexandra Road yesterday.

The respective deals will kick off at the first event to be held at the Singapore Sports Hub's OCBC Aquatic Centre from June 14 to 24 - the TYR 2nd South-east Asian (SEA) Swimming Championships 2014 presented by Yakult.

Swimwear giants TYR will be visibly prominent during the regional meet, while Yakult Singapore senior manager Nakato Yasuhide said around 10,000 bottles of the probiotic product will be distributed to athletes and officials for the duration of the event.

Volkswagen Group Singapore general manager James Page revealed that 13 of their vehicles will be made available for the transportation of equipment and personnel during the championships, while the SSA will also be able to a Volkswagen Jetta for the rest of 2014


Said SSA secretary-general Lee: "This is the culmination of years of building relationships, all for the development of swimming and sports in Singapore.

"We are also privileged to be the first NSA to benefit from the Sports Hub and to have secured the excellent support of our key sponsors to partner in our journey.

"It must be a situation of mutual benefit where we must create value for our sponsors and give recognition for their contributions."

The SEA Swimming Championships, a biennial event, will feature over 200 athletes from the region across four disciplines - swimming, water polo, diving and synchronised swimming.

It will serve as an ideal platform for swimmers and officials to familiarise themselves with the new venue, which will host the aquatic events at next year's SEA Games in June.

Said Lee: "After we held the first edition in 2012, this event should have been rotated among the South-east Asian countries. But as we are hosting the SEA Games next year, we asked to host it again.

"This is like a dry run for the SEA Games next year as the schedule is more or less the same, so it gives us the opportunity to test out our set up.

"As this is only the second edition of the event, there are not many precedents for us to set a medal tally for our athletes.

"But I'm sure they will do their best. For the swimmers, this is also a qualifying event for the Asian Games, so I'm sure that's motivation enough."

Lee declined to comment on the upcoming elections, saying he would only do so after today's nomination deadline.

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