Photos by KAMAL SELLEHUDDIN
SHARKIES Swimming Club is on the right track towards grooming young talents, thanks to a group of dedicated parents.
The club, with about 60 members, is based at the Holiday Villa, Subang Jaya and training sessions are co-ordinated by Loke Chee Heng, who has attended coaching programmes in the United States and Japan.
Loke, who had represented Malacca in swimming and water polo, said they were pleased with the progress of their swimmers.
Sharkies’ representatives had dominated the Under-Eight age group in the Selangor age group swimming championships. And, Loke admitted that the parents’ involvement in the training programmes had contributed immensely to the swimmers’ impressive results in local competitions.
“The parents make it a point to be present for the training sessions. They also make time to travel with the young swimmers for competitions. Their presence has motivated the children, who are certainly making an impact in the competitions,” Loke said.
The club was formed two years ago. The primary aim was to encourage youngsters to take up swimming, either as a survival skill or as a healthy sport.
“But, we are also committed to nurturing young promising swimmers for the state and subsequently the country. With support from the parents, we are confident of meeting our objectives,” said Loke.
Sharkies swimming club team manager Michael Yip said they were grateful to Holiday Villa for providing the facilities at a nominal price.
“The public pools in the Klang Valley have been taken up. Holiday Villa have been supportive of our efforts in the development of swimming at the grassroots,” said Yip.
The talented swimmers in Sharkies Swimming Club are Jeff Phang, Ryan Tan, Ooi Joo Vern and Jordan Yip. Ooi and Jordan are currently the best in Selangor in the Under-Eight age group.
Based on their current performance, they have a good chance of making their presence felt in the National age group swimming championships.
Vincent Leong, 10, is another promising swimmer.
He gets the opportunity to attend training in clubs in the United States.
Meanwhile, senior swimmer Matthew Lee, 19, who was selected to represent Selangor in the recent Sukma had to forgo the opportunity because of other commitments.
Yip said they had introduced an incentive scheme to reward swimmers for outstanding performances.
“The parents contribute to the fund. We request the swimmers to provide us with their wish list and they will be presented with the rewards based on the list. We evaluate the swimmers on their performance, attendance and discipline. We want to instil good values when they are young,” said Yip.
Besides the Selangor age group championships, Sharkies Swimming Club also expose their juniors in the three-leg SportExcel Junior circuit and President Cup swimming championships.
Yip said they would be organising an in-house championships later this year.
“The parents will serve as officials for the meet. We want them to play an active role in the club,” said Yip.
Sharkies Swimming Club (registered with the SelangorSwimming Association)
President: Alvin Lim
Team manager: Michael Yip
Centre: Holiday Villa, Subang Jaya
Fees: RM130 per month
Sponsors: Ceva Freight Holdings; Digital Paper
Chief coach: Loke Chee Heng (019-223 0537)
Activities: Life-saving courses, annual swimming carnivaland gala, inter-club championships.