Swimming: Deaf participants included in National Inclusive Swimming Championships

The SPH Foundation National Inclusive Swimming Championships using the signaling system known as SwimSight to assist deaf swimmers.
The SPH Foundation National Inclusive Swimming Championships using the signaling system known as SwimSight to assist deaf swimmers.ST PHOTO: ALICIA CHAN

SINGAPORE - The annual National Para Swimming Championships, now renamed as the National Inclusive Swimming Championships took place today at Toa Payoh Swimming Complex.

The change in the name was to reflect the shift towards promoting inclusivity in sports and the community as a whole and also sees to the inclusion of the deaf community in the event. They join the persons with physical, intellectual and visual impairment and aims to show how swimming can be adapted to people with different abilities.

The event was the 36th edition of the annual swimming championship and the seventh year that SPH Foundation is title sponsor.

Kelly Fan, executive director of Singapore Disability Sports Council, said: "Over the years, we have been grateful to see increasing support for equal recognition of athletes with disability in Singapore.

"However, besides applauding the end results, what is more important is to have more realisation that athletes with disability also need to go through a long and arduous journey of training and development before they can reach these achievements."

Said deaf swimmer Tan Jian Hao: "(The competition) makes everyone included, involving the deaf as well to join the event and make them active.

"I hope to see a group of us as a team to go and compete together. It gives unity and you can feel the bond and won't feel alone."