SSA Appoints Gary Tan As National Head Coach
After conducting a comprehensive search, the Singapore Swimming Association (SSA) today announced that incumbent National Training Centre (NTC) Head Coach Gary Tan has been appointed Singapore’s National Swimming Head Coach. He will take over from Stephan Widmer with immediate effect.
“We were looking for a candidate that has the technical competence, track record and understanding of Singapore’s competitive swimming eco-system. Gary impressed us the most and displayed that he has gained the expertise after having come under the tutelage of Sergio Lopez and Stephan Widmer in the last seven years. SSA is delighted to have appointed Gary as our new national head coach as we believe that Gary is the best fit amongst all the candidates to influence the NTC and affiliate clubs, to mentor local coaches, to continue to bring forth world class expertise through his connections with leading experts in the world, to adapt and relate to the local swimming ecosystem of athletes, coaches, and clubs, and have a strong burning desire to make Singapore a world class aquatic nation”, said Mr Lee Kok Choy, President of SSA.
“We hope that Gary’s appointment will inspire more local coaches to take up coaching as a profession and follow his pathway to be a world-class high-performance coach in Singapore. Gary’s immediate task as National Head Coach will be to oversee the implementation of the SSA’s long-term plans for swimming high performance following a comprehensive review after the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and to navigate challenges surrounding COVID-19.”
Gary has been the NTC Head Coach since 2016 and was an integral part of the coaching staff where Singapore’s swimmers achieved their best away SEA Games results at the 2017 SEA Games in Malaysia with 19 Golds, and again at the 2019 SEA Games in Philippines with 23 Golds.
He was also on the coaching team when Singapore achieved their best Asian Games results in 2018 when the swimmers returned from Indonesia with 2 Golds, 1 Silver and 3 Bronzes, and saw Singapore finish third in the standings behind Japan and China. He also won the Coach of the Year at the Singapore Sports Awards 2018.
"Having represented the nation as an athlete, a club coach and a NTC coach, I am living my dream to be able to lead the development of swimming in my home country. I am proud to be tasked with the role of continuing the legacy of Singapore’s success in swimming at the major competitions. There will be many challenges ahead but together with my team, I am ready to face them and do my best for Singapore," said Gary.
“We want to develop and support our swimmers to achieve sustained podium success at Asian, Olympic and World Championships, through good and sustainable investment in the development of our clubs, athletes and coaches. Knowing the local landscape and struggles that clubs and swim school businesses face during this period, I will reach out to all our affiliates to address their issues and provide adequate help. The success of clubs/swim schools are crucial as they are the backbone of our system and provide the talent pipeline for the national team. We will need to rebuild a core group of swimmers through a system-based approach in both the clubs and the NTC, giving our swimmers access to an elite training environment daily.”
“I hope that my appointment would also serve as a pathway that many young local coaches can strive and work towards. I believe that we need to have a bigger crop of young local coaches coming through as we look to build up their capabilities. I will be fully invested in ensuring that we accelerate the transfer and application of technical knowledge gained on coaching education to a broader base of local coaches.”