Oberman resigns as SSA water polo technical director
National water polo technical director Paul Oberman will step down at the end of this month, 13 months before his contract with the Singapore Swimming Association (SSA) is due to end.
He handed in his resignation last Monday and will return to Australia on Saturday to tend to his wife, who has been diagnosed with cancer.
In a text message to the water polo fraternity, he thanked the SSA and its president Lee Kok Choy for their support.
Oberman, 52, also wrote: "My heart is with Singapore. I've many lifelong friends here that have rallied to support me during this difficult time, but also through collaborating and working with them for the betterment of the sport.
"We have created a multi-year plan that targets success in Asia, with incremental changes along the way - with the first step being winning back the SEA Games (gold)."
In an SSA press statement, he added: "One of the things Singapore water polo needs to improve on is to increase the number of domestic and international matches played, giving the athletes game experiences... additionally gaining valuable coaching and refereeing opportunities and experiences... bringing the sport to a higher level."
Oberman was also SSA's water polo coaching director from 2007 to 2008.
After winning 27 straight SEA Games golds since 1965, the men's water polo team returned from the Philippines with just a bronze in 2019, while the women's team were silver medallists from 2015 to 2019.
The SSA subsequently conducted a review of its strategy and identified key areas in which the team could improve, which included the limited pool of players for the national squad, mental resilience in competition, and leadership.
Water polo will not be part of the programme for next May's SEA Games in Hanoi.
Vice-president (water polo) Dominic Soh said the SSA has begun searching for Oberman's replacement and added: "While we would have liked Paul to stay on, we understand the predicament that he and his family are facing, and we fully support his decision to return to Australia."