Representatives from different generations of the water polo community in Singapore

Seventy years after first creating a water polo dynasty in Singapore, the Tan Family is building on their legacy with a $500,000 donation to the sport here.

Spearheaded by Olympian Tan Eng Liang, the Singapore Olympic Foundation-Tan Family Water Polo Fund will develop young athletes and groom elite players, so as to establish Singapore as an Asian power.

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.

They were also responsible for Singapore winning its first water polo gold at the 1965 Southeast Asian Peninsular Games, starting an unbelievable 54-year unbroken winning streak which ended two years ago in 2019.

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. The late trio spent a large part of their lives being involved with sports – excelling as national swimming and water polo athletes representing Singapore at the SEA Games, Asian Games and Olympic Games and dedicating the later part of their lives in roles such as sports administrator and coach. All three received the prestigious Coach of the Year accolade.

The 1956 water polo team who represented Singapore at the Melbourne Olympic Games

The objects of the Fund will focus on these following tenets:

  • Enable young and talented water polo athletes to achieve their goals for their chosen sport;
  • Groom and support high-performing water polo athletes to develop and represent Singapore on the world stage;
  • Promote a healthy environment for the progress of water polo in Singapore through educational and coaching programmes.

The fund will be administered by the Singapore Olympic Foundation. The Tan family believes strongly in the values of sports, and how sports can positively impact and benefit the young in their formative years and the community. They would like to share and spread the good of sports to as many Singaporeans as possible and would like to invite you to join them on this journey.

We seek your generosity in considering a contribution to the Singapore Olympic Foundation-Tan Family Water Polo Fund. All cash donations will be tax deductible (2.5 times deduction). To donate, click here.

The national women’s team at the 2019 SEA Games