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Year of Triumphs, Transformations, and Community Empowerment in 2023, Setting the Stage for an Exciting 2024

December 31, 2023

Dear members of our aquatics family,

From all of us at Singapore Aquatics, we would like to wish all of you a Happy New Year!

2023 was a transformative year for our community. At the 32nd SEA Games, we cemented our position as the dominant aquatics nation, securing 51 medals across our five sports. Our Women’s 4x100m freestyle team clinched Singapore’s 1,000th SEA Games gold medal in the pool, and our men’s water polo team bounced back from 2019 to reclaim gold.

In addition, our athletes put up a strong showing at the 19th Asian Games, with swimmer Teong Tzen Wei bringing home a silver medal, our women’s water polo team clinching a historic fourth-place finish. Over the course of the year, swimmers Jonathan Tan and Letitia Sim qualified for the 2024 Olympics in Paris, making the Olympics “A” cut at the SEA Games and Japan Open respectively.

The association also evolved, renamed as Singapore Aquatics, to represent that we are five sports, united by water, by one flag, and one community for one mission: to make Singapore a world-class aquatics nation. We also marked the closing of a chapter, as we waved goodbye to our old home Toa Payoh Sport Centre in October 2023.

Throughout our history, our sport has galvanised the community through the achievements of our athletes. This year, we took it a step further to make aquatics more accessible to the community and realise our vision of ‘Every Singaporean a Swimmer’.

In June 2023, Singapore Aquatics partnered with the South East Community Development Council to enable children and youths from vulnerable backgrounds with water survival and swimming competency skills. The Empowering Lives Through Aquatics is a free learn-to-swim programme for participants between 6 to 14 years old to complete the first three stages of SwimSafer. In 2024, we hope to expand the programme to support more youths in other districts, bring in more partners, and include other aquatic sports too.

We also launched the Hands Up For Safe Aquatics campaign in September 2023, to create a safer and more inclusive environment for all aquatic sport enthusiasts and athletes. In 2024, we will continue our efforts to work with our partners at Safe Sport Commission Singapore and the Singapore Coach Excellence Programme to ensure all our aquatic coaches are Safe Sport compliant.

To strengthen our development pipelines, we launched the first Performance Development Centre at Hwa Chong International School in October 2023. We hope to partner with more sport facilities operators in 2024, to ensure that our swimming pools are optimally utilised to serve the needs of our aquatics community.

Looking ahead to 2024

As a community, we have an exciting year ahead of us.

Our women’s water polo team will be competing in the 2024 World Aquatics Championships for the first time, facing off against New Zealand, Hungary and Australia from 2 to 18 February 2024. Our swimmers, divers, and artistic swimmers will also be competing in Doha from 2 to 18 February. In addition, our athletes will be heading to Paris from the 2024 Olympics from 26 July – 11 August 2024. Let us continue to show them our support as they take on the world!

Singapore will also be hosting the final leg of the World Aquatics Swimming World Cup from 31 October to 2 November 2024, and we would like to invite all of you to join us as our athletes test themselves against the world’s best on our shores!

2024 will also be a momentous year for us as we celebrate the association’s 85th anniversary. Throughout our history, aquatics has built a legacy of bringing the nation together in our sporting achievements. In recognition of how we have come, together, Singapore Aquatics will launch our inaugural Hall of Fame in 2024, to celebrate the men and women who have been fundamental to our continued success.

We are fully aware that making Singapore a world class aquatics nation is a collective mission for all of us in the community. To all our affiliates, sponsors, partners, technical officials and volunteers, thank you for continuing to believe in our sport. You are the support systems that empower our athletes to aim and achieve, and we are eternally grateful to have your onboard.

We have more exciting events and initiatives lined up for the year, as we ramp up to host the 2025 World Aquatics Championships. We will be sharing more information about them throughout the year.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a happy and healthy 2024. My wish for 2023 was that we can come closer as an aquatics family, and while we have made strides together, I hope that we can continue our good efforts to support each other in 2024.

Mark Chay
President, Singapore Aquatics