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Singapore Aquatics Hall of Fame and Farewell to Toa Payoh party

I had the privilege of attending the Singapore Aquatics Hall of Fame and Farewell to Toa Payoh party at the Toa Payoh sports complex. It was bittersweet event that celebrated the rich history of aquatics in Singapore while bidding farewell to a beloved sports facility. The event was marked by several significant moments and the gathering of prominent figures in the world of aquatics.

Singapore Aquatics Farewell to Toa Payoh party
Singapore Aquatics Farewell to Toa Payoh party at the Toh Payoh Sports complex, a home to the Singapore Aquatics.

A gathering of Singapore Aquatics athletes

The Farewell to Toa Payoh party was not only a farewell but also a celebration of the achievements of Singapore’s aquatic athletes. The event brought together current and former national aquatic athletes, creating a sense of unity and nostalgia. Among the distinguished guests were notable figures.

A gathering of Singapore Aquatics athletes
A gathering of Singapore Aquatics athletes.

Examples includes Joseph Schooling, the nation’s only Olympic gold medallist, swimming greats Patricia Chan, Joscelin Yeo and Ang Peng Siong, and former national water polo player Lim Teck Yin. It was a unique opportunity to witness these luminaries of the aquatics world in one place, sharing their passion for the sport.

With Olympic swim legend Joseph Schooling
With Olympic swim legend Joseph Schooling.

Furthermore, one of the highlights of the event was the aquatic activities that took place at the Toa Payoh complex. You have the opportunity to witness the athletes swimming, diving, and water polo matches. It does create a sense of community and nostalgia as they bid farewell to this iconic venue. Also, the event was graced by the presence of Mr. Alan Goh, CEO of Sport Singapore, who is the Guest-of-Honour.

Swimming legends
Mr. Alan Goh pictured with members of Singapore Aquatics Swimming legends, young and old.
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Aquatics center walkaround
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Waterpolo matches
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Competitive and waterpolo pool

New Singapore Aquatics Hall of Fame

In addition to the Farewell to Toa Payoh party, also marked the launch of the Singapore Aquatics Hall of Fame. This initiative honors its heroes with a distinguished hall of fame.

Selfies with swim pioneers and distinguished guests
Selfies with swim pioneers and distinguished guests.

The Singapore Aquatics Hall of Fame, in its upcoming launch in 2024, is a pivotal step towards recognizing and celebrating the legacy of aquatics in the nation over the past 85 years. This initiative also aims to bridge the past and present by connecting aquatics alumni from various backgrounds and generations.

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Patricia Chan pep talk
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Pioneers
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The Synchronized swim team

Moreover, the Singapore Aquatics Hall of Fame will pay tribute to the generations of men and women who have contributed to making aquatics a top sport in Singapore. Its rich history and accomplishments.

The diving team
The diving team at their beloved diving pool.

This including delivering Singapore’s only Olympic gold medal. Aquatics has consistently excelled in major competitions such as the SEA Games, Asian Games, and the World Championships.

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Starting dive
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Synchronized swimmers
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Synchronized

Unveiling the Legacy Council logo

Unveiling of the Legacy council
Unveiling of the Legacy council logo and gift presentation.

Additionally, highlight of the event was the unveiling of the Legacy Council logo inspired by Egyptian hieroglyphics. It was unveiled on-stage by Sport Singapore chief Alan Goh, Patricia Chan and SAQ president Mark Chay towards the end of the event.

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Swimming legends
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Alan Goh on stage
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Old Toa Payoh Sports center

Moreover, as part of the Singapore Aquatics 85th-anniversary celebrations, the organisation is keen to bestow this honor on athletes who have contributed immensely to the sport over the years. This plays a significant role in preserving and promoting the heritage of Singapore Aquatics.

Waterpolo team
Photos with the Waterpolo team.

It ensures that it continues to thrive for generations to come. Also, the event was graced by the presence of members from various aquatics disciplines. This includes synchronized swimming, diving, water polo, and swimming, reflecting the broad spectrum of the sport’s impact in Singapore.

Synchronized performance by the national team
Synchronized performance by the national team.

Also, the national synchronized swimming team were there to put up a performance to music for attending guests. They recently came in 5 at the recent Asian games.

The Synchronized swim team
The synchronized swim team.

Hence, the Hall of Fame will serve as a testament to the sport’s legacy and the achievements of Singapore’s aquatics athletes. This ambitious announcement was made as a fitting conclusion to the Farewell to Toa Payoh sports complex. It marks a significant moment in the history of Singapore Aquatics.

Farewell to Toa Payoh sports complex

Over the years, the Toa Payoh pool has held a special place in the hearts of the aquatics community. The venue hosted various aquatic events during the 1973, 1983, and 1993 SEA Games. This versatile facility has played a crucial role in nurturing and promoting aquatic sports in Singapore through the decades.

Off the 10m!
Off the 10m!

The closure of the Toa Payoh Sports Centre, including its iconic swimming pool, is a poignant moment for the aquatics community. The center, a cherished venue for countless aquatic events, will make way for a regional sport center slated for completion by 2030.

This new complex, similar to Our Tampines Hub like we visited sometime back, will offer a integrated sports experience. It encompasses not only aquatics but also track and field sports, racquet sports, and more under one roof. It have more than just an active SG swimming complex for public use, a gym, a stadium running track, and an indoor sports hall for various court sports such as basketball and badminton to name afew.

Displays of the new Toa Payoh integrated sports complex
Displays of the new Toa Payoh integrated sports complex.

Additionally, it will host new amenities, including the Toa Payoh library, a polyclinic, and retail outlets. It makes for a vibrant hub for the community. With the impending closure of the Toa Payoh Sports Centre, the aquatics community and sports enthusiasts are eagerly looking forward to the new integrated complex that is set to replace it.

Initiatives of ActiveSG
Initiatives of ActiveSG at the sports complex.

The new complex is a green one too. The location of the sports complex, alongside Lor 6 Toa Payoh, offers an ideal setting with the Toa Payoh town park to the west and SAFRA Toa Payoh to the east. Also, the integrated facility has green spaces and therapeutic gardens. It extends the existing Toa Payoh green with direct linkways connecting to Toa Payoh central.

Wrapping up a chapter

In conclusion, the Singapore Aquatics Hall of Fame and Farewell to Toa Payoh party was a memorable event. It celebrates the past, present, and future of aquatics in Singapore. Also, bringing together prominent figures in the world of aquatics. It relived the glory days of the Toa Payoh Sports Centre while looking forward to the promising future of the new integrated complex.

That wraps it ups folks with all the Guests at Singapore Aquatics and Farewell to Toa Payoh party
That wraps it ups folks with all the Guests at Singapore Aquatics and Farewell to Toa Payoh party

The launch of the Aquatics Hall of Fame is a significant step toward preserving the legacy of Singapore’s aquatics heroes. It fosters a sense of unity and inclusivity within the aquatics community. As the Toa Payoh Sports Centre bids farewell, it paves the way for a new era of sports and community engagement in Singapore.

Many thanks to the Singapore Aquatics for inviting me to attend their event.

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