Swim queen Joscelin Yeo makes Sport Hall of Fame
Eight new members, three athletes and five sports leaders, were inducted into the Singapore Sport Hall of Fame at a ceremony held at the Istana on Feb 6.
The Hall of Fame celebrates the achievements and contributions of Singapore’s sporting heroes and it is the first time sports leaders are being recognised since its inception in 1985.
The Republic’s only Olympic boxer Syed Abdul Kadir, most bemedalled SEA Games swimmer Joscelin Yeo, and table tennis player Yu Mengyu – who was part of the world championship-winning women’s team in 2010 – received their awards from President Tharman Shanmugaratnam.
The five sports leaders were: International Olympic Committee member Ng Ser Miang, Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) vice-president Jessie Phua, the late Tan Eng Liang (a former national water polo player and SNOC vice-president), Singapore National Paralympic Council president Teo-Koh Sock Miang, and former national water polo captain and coach Kenneth Kee.
Mr Tharman said: “Each of the eight Singaporeans inducted to the Sport Hall of Fame today have contributed greatly – and often beyond the traditional realms of athleticism, through their leadership and the way they have inspired many others. Together as One Team Singapore, let’s continue to strengthen the Singapore spirit through sport.”
A total of 22 nominations by the public and the national sports associations were received by Sport Singapore and eight were selected after an assessment by the expert panel and selection panel.
For years, former swim queen Yeo, 44, was a glaring omission from the Hall of Fame. One of Singapore’s most successful swimmers, she won 40 golds at the SEA Games, her last in 2005 after making her debut in 1991. She also clinched two bronzes at the 1994 and 2002 Asian Games before retiring in 2007.
She also served as Singapore Swimming Association vice-president from 2014 to 2022 and was a Nominated Member of Parliament from 2009 to 2011.
In 2020, Yeo’s omission sparked debate within the sports fraternity after it was raised by two former journalists, and national agency SportSG said then that improvements would be made to the nomination and selection process.
Yeo told The Straits Times it was never her goal to enter the Hall of Fame, but it was nice to receive the recognition. She said: “It’s not something I really thought about... as athletes, our goals are sports-oriented.”
She added: “Singapore was built on the shoulders of giants and while I don’t consider myself to be one, I believe that much can be learnt from those who have gone before us, and I endeavour to do what I can in that respect.”
The addition of eight inductees takes the Hall of Fame membership to 65. It includes the nation’s only Olympic champion Joseph Schooling, five-gold Paralympic swimmer Yip Pin Xiu, Feng, who has claimed three Olympic medals, Singapore’s first Olympic medallist and weightlifter Tan Howe Liang, and footballer Fandi Ahmad.