Swimming: SSA president Lee Kok Choy seeks second term of office

Singapore Swimming Association president Lee Kok Choy will be contesting in the re-elections for the executive committee which would be called by June.
Singapore Swimming Association president Lee Kok Choy will be contesting in the re-elections for the executive committee which would be called by June.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Current Singapore Swimming Association (SSA) president Lee Kok Choy announced on Tuesday that he will be standing for re-election in the next round of contest for the executive committee.

His two-year term is up this year and the new elections will be called by June at the next annual general meeting (AGM). The notice of AGM will be served 14 days before it is held, and nomination closes seven working days before the AGM.

Speaking to the media at the Sports Hub Library, the 64-year-old stressed the need to retain athletes when they transit from school to work in their 20s, as well as to grow the current participation levels across all four aquatic sports - swimming, water polo, synchronised swimming and diving.

He said: "In the past we've had a lot of active participation and intensive training for the younger junior (athletes competing at the elite levels), but we also want to work on retaining the elite athletes for a longer period of time in active training.

"For example, in water polo right now, the average age of our teams are between 23 to 25 for the last few SEA Games. But the best ages for water polo are between 25 to 30."

Aquatics has enjoyed a boom in recent times. The number of swimmers who participated in the national time trials increased from 770 in 2014 to 1150 this year while Lee estimated that there are about 600 water polo players who actively play the sport.

But more work can be done to enlarge the base.

"We want to build that whole pathway from the beginning - from learn to swim level all the way to the top. To do this, we will turn a lot of focus in the next term to developing the coaching capabilities and infrastructure in the larger community, not just at the pinnacle but the whole base."

Lee is the country manager of Micron Semiconductor Asia and SSA's former secretary-general and vice-president (diving).

He was appointed to his current position in 2014, after he beat Jessie Phua, who heads the Singapore Bowling Federation, to the presidency by a single vote when he won 17-16.