By Ronda Ng/Fulford Public Relations

Singapore, Thursday, March 1, 2012 — Singapore will be the venue for the first ever Southeast Asia Swimming Championships 2012 (SEA Swimming Championships 2012), the Singapore Swimming Association (SSA) announced.

The Singapore Sports School will host Swimming (13–17 June) while the Toa Payoh Swimming Complex will see some of the region’s brightest stars compete in Diving (8-10 June), Synchronised Swimming (14–17 June) and Water Polo (28 May – 1 June).

The SEA Swimming Championships 2012 will also be the first international aquatics event held in Singapore that includes four of the five aquatic disciplines under Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA).

Chairman of the Organising Committee of the SEA Swimming Championships 2012, Mr Jeffrey Leow, who put together the idea and plan for this competition, said: “Swimming is a key sport in this part of the world and, in fact, one of the most watched events at the Southeast Asian Games.

“However, other than the Southeast Asian Games, there aren’t any other opportunities at the same level for the swimmers to compete against one another. We also want to make use of this competition to ensure that the other aquatics disciplines get the attention they deserve as well.”

The SEA Swimming Championships 2012 will be hosted every two years with the other Southeast Asian countries taking turns to bid for and host the event.

The inaugural event in Singapore will also prove to be crucial for the region’s swimmers as it will be their last qualifying chance for the Olympics in London this year. The Singapore Swimming Association is expecting 300 athletes from 10 countries to be in Singapore for the event and, so far, countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia have already pledged their interest and commitment to the competition.

“Regular competition at a high level is essential for athletes to improve on their performance and to get to the next level. We hope that this competition will kick start more cooperation and competition opportunities between the Southeast Asian countries,” said Mr Leow, who is also President of the Southeast Asia Swimming Federation and the Singapore Swimming Association.

Ticketing details for the SEA Swimming Championships 2012 will be released at a later stage but interested parties can ring the Singapore Swimming Association for more information about the event.