Water polo: SSA sets up advisory council to help the sport excel beyond South-east Asian level

A water polo advisory council has been set up to look into how Singapore can make a breakthrough beyond the SEA Games.
A water polo advisory council has been set up to look into how Singapore can make a breakthrough beyond the SEA Games.ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI

SINGAPORE - A water polo advisory council has been set up to look into how Singapore can make a breakthrough beyond the SEA Games.

Even though the Republic's male water polo team have been the region's kingpins, winning the Games gold for 26 consecutive editions, they last earned a medal at the Asian Games 30 years ago, at the 1986 edition in Seoul.

The new advisory council comprises six water polo veterans, including former national coach Kenneth Kee and ex-national players Alan Heng, Dominic Soh, Tan Hong Teck, Lau Chok Yee and Yip Ren Kai.

Heng said: "While we've been winning the SEA Games gold for over five decades, we should aim to do better.

"Our last Asian Games medal was won 30 years ago. We are comforted that there is a vibrant playing community and we want to build on this foundation to achieve greater success in Asia."

Although its first task would be to recommend short-term strategies to ensure success at the next year's SEA Games, the council will look to identify and close any current gaps and shortcomings to enhance the standard of the game in Singapore.

A key aspect that the council will look into is coaching - as they look to enhance Singapore's coaching capabilities at all levels, starting from passing on their knowledge and experience to the coaches on the water polo deck.

Singapore Swimming Association (SSA) president Lee Kok Choy stressed that the association would seek to maintain the success of water polo at a regional level, while also developing a long-term strategy to advance the sport.

He said: "While our water polo teams have performed impressively over the years, gaining prominence in the South-east Asian region, we must remain challenged and constantly think of ways to grow our capabilities and strengths.

"We are thankful to have on board with us esteemed members of the water polo community, who bring with them a wealth of knowledge and experience in the field that is vital and valuable in helping us refine our current set-up and achieve our long-term developmental goals for water polo."