Singapore, March 24, 2021: Seventy years after creating a water polo dynasty in Singapore, the famous Tan family is building on their legacy with a S$500,000 (USD 370,000) donation to the sport, reports the Singapore National Olympic Council.
Spearheaded by Olympian Tan Eng Liang, the Singapore Olympic Foundation-Tan Family Water Polo Fund will develop young athletes and groom elite players in a bid to establish Singapore as an Asian power.
“Water polo brought me to the Olympics, and I benefitted not only in flying the Singapore colours but attaining other achievements while playing for the country. The fund is just our family's small way of supporting water polo,” said the 83-year-old Eng Liang, a former Chairman of the Singapore Sports Council and Vice President of the Singapore NOC.
The fund was launched on March 21 at Our Tampines Hub, with Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Second Minister for Law Edwin Tong as the guest of honour.
It is the latest in a long list of contributions by the Tan family to water polo and sport in general in Singapore.
Brothers Tan Eng Liang, Tan Eng Bock and Tan Eng Chai, together with their uncle Tan Hwee Hock started a water polo force, culminating with a gold medal at the Asian Games in 1954 and an appearance in the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games. It remains the only time Singapore has qualified for water polo at the Olympics.
After Hwee Hock, Eng Chai and Eng Bock all passed away in 2020 and early 2021, Eng Liang was keen to build on their legacies and enhance the support and development of the sport.
IOC Vice President Ng Ser Miang praised the initiative. “The Fund is an incredible way for Dr Tan Eng Liang and his family to play a key role in developing water polo in Singapore and continue his family’s legacy – as they have been doing for decades,” he said. “It can become a springboard towards greater heights.”