SINGAPORE: Singapore Olympic champion swimmer Joseph Schooling launched his own swimming school at the Our Tampines Hub on Wednesday (Jun 27).
Called Swim Schooling, the school will start with an eight-stage progressive learn-to-swim programme for children aged between three and 11.
As part of the launch, a small group of children joined the Olympic champion in the pool for a short training session. Lessons will begin on Jul 2 at the Tampines pool, and the school has already seen some advance sign-ups.
“My own father almost drowned twice, so that’s why he put me in swim school," said Schooling. “Who would have thought that swimming would define who I am? Swim Schooling is all about empowering kids to be water-safe and to be confident in the water.”
The school has plans to expand to a “few more venues” in Singapore and in the Southeast Asia region. Future courses will include teacher development training for swim coaches.
However, the 22-year-old Schooling will not be teaching full-time at the school.
Instead, he will be “running a couple of things” with his mother, May Schooling, who serves as one of the school’s directors.
Said Schooling: “First and foremost, my priority is my training – getting ready for the Asian Games, or Tokyo 2020. I will be here as much as I can, see the kids and maybe get in the water with them."
In the meantime, trained coaches employed by the school will conduct its courses.
The launch comes on the back of the Singapore National Swimming Championships that ended on Jun 23. Schooling bailed out of several events and only managed a bronze at the 100m freestyle finals.
When asked about his performance, he said: "Timing-wise it may not have looked that good, but my goals going into that meet (were) … dusting off the cobwebs, I haven't raced long course since Worlds last year."
Taking the experience in his stride, Schooling said that he was on track for the upcoming 18th Asian Games in Indonesia this August.
"I definitely (feel) more comfortable racing after this weekend. It's all about repetition right, you got to get as many reps as you can in, and so this weekend just got me to feel the pain, feel the racing pain, get back in the swing of things," he said.
"I am feeling very comfortable and very confident heading into the Asian Games. I think it's going to be a good one," he added.