IPOH: Swimmer Kevin Yeap has returned to his roots to serve as a coach.
The 29-year-old, who gave up competitive swimming after winning a SEA Games gold medal in Open water swimming in Kuala Lumpur last year, is the coach of the Perak swimming team – and he is showing the same level of dedication to make a mark.
Kevin wants to play his part to revive the swimming culture in Perak when the competition starts today at the brand new Tuanku Zara Aquatic Center, which costs RM44mil.
“We’ve not hosted a swimming competition since the MSSM (National schools) meet in 2004 as the previous swimming pool located beside this new aquatic centre was already broken down for many years,” said Kevin, who was also a 2011 Indonesia SEA Games gold medallist in the 400m freestyle.
“In fact, we did not have a pool of swimmers to train full-time until after I took over.
“My hope is to produce a pool of swimmers for the future as Perak has fallen behind compared to states like Selangor, Melaka and Federal Territories,” said Kevin.
Interestingly, Kevin was the last Sukma gold medallist for Perak back in Melaka in 2010 but he does not see anyone following in his footsteps – just yet.
“Our swimmers have only been training for a year and there is no way we can compete with the established states. Selangor swimmers do not stop training even after Sukma whereas I only managed to get some swimmers together after I got in,” he said.
“I’m just hoping to get as many swimmers to make the finals. Hopefully, one or two can finish on the podium.”