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Swimming: Jessie Phua introduces team for SSA elections

Bowling federation chief Jessie Phua introduces her team, hoping to make a splash at the Singapore Swimming Association elections.

SINGAPORE: The contest for the presidency of the Singapore Swimming Association (SSA) is heating up ahead of elections this Friday (June 13).

On Wednesday (June 11), Ms Jessie Phua, who is running for the SSA's top post, put forth a suggestion to hire experts not to train athletes, but other swimming coaches. She also pitched an idea to set up a resource centre for swimmers and their families to tap into education and training opportunities. 

At a news conference, Ms Phua introduced her team members who are contesting various positions in swimming and water polo. They include ex-national swimmers such swimmers Mark Chay, Gerald Koh and Shaun Lee, water polo players and law lecturer and Nominated Member of Parliament Eugene Tan.

Ms Phua is perhaps better known for her work in the sport of bowling. She cleaned up the accounts of the Singapore Bowling Federation after being elected president in 2002, the year former president Ong Teck Thian disappeared with a large sum of the federation's funds.

However, she emphasised that she is no stranger to swimming. "The reality is that, I have been in swimming way before I was in bowling. I've been a swim mom for years. Before I was known as Jessie Phua, I was known as Shu Yan Phua's mother. I've been on that side of the fence. I know what the struggle is like. And having been on that side of the fence, and knowing what the struggle had been like for years, now that I'm in a position of sports administration, why would I not want to put in the support pillars, the support framework to make it all better, more supportive of all our athletes?" 

Ms Phua's team has set its sights on taking the sport to greater heights, not just at the SEA Games, but at larger meets like the Asian Games as well.

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