SINGAPORE - A total of 93 para-athletes participated in the 5th Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) Foundation National Para-Swimming Championships held at the OCBC Aquatic Centre on Saturday morning.
Jointly organised by the SPH Foundation and the Singapore Disability Sports Council (SDSC), the championships doubled as a test event to prepare organisers for the Asean Para Games that Singapore will host from Dec 3-9. This year's championships also marked the fifth year that the SPH Foundation is on board as its title sponsor.
With the championships into its 34th edition, the SDSC aims to create opportunities for people with disabilities to swim competitively. Furthermore, para-athletes who clocked good timings in the event will be considered to represent Singapore for the upcoming Asean Para Games.
Paralympians Theresa Goh and Yip Pin Xiu were also present at the OCBC Aquatic Centre to cheer their fellow para-athletes on.
Aged eight, Charlize Lim was the youngest swimmer at this year's championships. She competed in the S14 50m freestyle and 50m breaststroke events to gain experience.
Said Charlize's swimming coach Ho Ying Shan: "Charlize learns fast for her age. She learnt the breaststroke and front crawl in just one and a half years. In that respect, she's a talent.
"She's here today for exposure only, but I think she will improve greatly once her physical strength develops."
The event's guest-of-honour, Ginney Lim, general manager of SPH Foundation, said: "This milestone (SPH Foundation's fifth year as title sponsor) reaffirms our commitment towards building a healthy community that embraces sport. We hope this high level of participation will continue in years to come."
Said vice-president of SDSC, Raja Singh: "This year's results were all better than previous years because a lot of them train harder due to the Para Games. We hope that through the Para Games and its lead-up events, more people will be aware of the sports scene for people with disabilities."