Sergio will also groom local coaches

OFFICIAL: Oon Jin Teik (left) with Sergio Lopez as the new Head Coach of Singapore Swimming Association (SSA) during the press conference. - PHOTO: ST

Besides unveiling Sergio Lopez as the new national coach, the Singapore Swimming Association (SSA) also shared their High Performance Plan with the media yesterday.

SSA secretary-general Oon Jin Teik introduced a high-performance swimming committee, co-chaired by SSA vice-president (swimming) Joscelin Yeo and himself, and including four coaches - David Lim, Gary Tan, Ang Peng Siong and See Puay Kheng, who will represent clubs and their interests.

While emphasising that Lopez's assistant coaches will be local, Oon said: "We want the local coaches to be developed at a pace consistent with the direction and timing of our objectives. One of the requirements was that the head coach would do a swimmer-by-swimmer athlete plan with their existing club coach.

"They will look at the swimmer as a person, her background, address her needs, adjust what she's been doing, monitor her progress and understand her enough to begin to tailor the athlete plan for next week, next month, next year.

"This plan allows the coaches to talk, allows Sergio to quickly understand the past to build for the future and then they go on deck to execute it. The coaches will be able to look, audit it, share and discuss.

"It will be cumbersome but this would be second nature to Sergio. This is something that we feel is very crucial for the local coaches to learn and Sergio will be very happy to do that."

In addition to the Athlete's Commission chaired by swimmer Russell Ong, and a Parents' Advisory Committee led by Colin and May Schooling, there will also be a Major Games Advisory Committee who will strengthen the high-performance and management aspects with multi-year planning to better understand the nature of the Games and the administrative requirements. 

"We won't have any more screw-ups with goggles and cap issues, stuff like that," said Oon.

"They will adjust high-performance preparation plans, budget, crisis management, athlete management, logistics, analysis, training camps, many things to support all that before swimmers go on deck. We want this advisory committee to also look at the strategic side of things and guide the high-performance management."

More sparring opportunities will also be arranged, and Oon also stressed on the importance of sports medicine and sports science.

He said: "We need to have these world-class sports systems to achieve world-class performance. We are lucky to have this collaboration with Sport Singapore and Singapore Sports Institute.

"We are very fortunate to have a facility like the OCBC Aquatic Centre on home ground."