SSA announces Widmer as Singapore's new national swim coach
The Singapore Swimming Association (SSA) yesterday announced that Australian Stephan Widmer will be appointed as its national head coach and performance director from July.
Currently the state head coach of Queensland with Swimming Australia, the Swiss-born 50-year-old will arrive with an excellent track record and the experience of training world-class swimmers such as Libby Trickett, Leisel Jones and Jessicah Schipper.
A total of 20 world records and 16 world championship titles have come from his stable of swimmers.
"I am delighted and honoured to be given this opportunity to become the national head coach of Singapore Swimming," said Widmer, who was in Singapore in January to give talks and conduct clinics.
"I am impressed with the vision and the ambition of Singapore Swimming and I am looking forward to the challenge of grooming more world-class coaches and athletes as Singapore strives to become a top swimming nation."
The position has been vacant since Sergio Lopez left after last year's Rio Olympics.
SSA's confirmation of Widmer as the man to take up the role came after The New Paper broke the story yesterday.
National Training Centre head coach Gary Tan and technical director Sonya Porter will report to Widmer when he arrives.
The hiring of a national head coach and performance director is in line with SSA's new high-performance blueprint, which it announced in March.
Besides grooming world-class swimmers, Widmer will delve into issues such as long-term athlete and coach development.
Referring to the recently released blueprint, SSA president Lee Kok Choy said: "In line with that plan, we were looking for someone who would be able to achieve the objectives that were laid out and carry on our vision of turning Singapore into a world-class aquatics nation.
"After long discussions with the team, we believe that Widmer's calibre and proven track record in grooming world-class swimmers and coaches would allow us to reach that goal."
Former national swimmer Tan added: "The addition of Stephan to the coaching set-up will no doubt be beneficial to all of us coaches in Singapore.
"He brings a wealth of experience in terms of coaching methodology which would enhance our coaching ecosystem here.
"Along with him and Sonya, we will have a unique opportunity to steer Singapore swimming forward in line with our high-performance objectives.
"I am definitely looking forward to working with Stephan on building a pipeline of world-class coaches and swimmers."