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Jul 15, 2024

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Still Waters Run Deep

Greg Fasala, Olympic medalist and Head Aquatics Coach at the Club, leads revitalized Aquatics Program with determination and vision.

If you’re an avid swimmer at the Club, it’s likely that Greg Fasala, Team Manager and Head Coach of Aquatics, is no stranger to you. A ubiquitous fixture in and by the pool with an exuberant personality and reassuring presence, Greg brings to his role as much warmth as he does an outstanding portfolio with some of the most revered accolades in the sporting world.

Greg’s sunny disposition belies a steely resilience and unflinchingly resolute determination to see his plans through from aspiration to achievement; an approach to life which earned him an Olympic silver medal for the 4×100-metre freestyle relay at the 1984 Summer Olympics, and three Gold medals across two Commonwealth Games.

Greg recounts training for the big leagues as a student athlete, spending hours on end each day perfecting his form in the pool and working out everywhere else to ensure he could hold his own against the slate of competitors he would one day have to face at the most illustrious sporting events in the world. With singular devotion to honing his talent, it would not be unusual to find Greg doing laps way before sunrise – school day or otherwise.

Guided by the principles of hard work and persistence, Greg shared two quotes he says are close to his heart – “The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary”, and “winning is not everything, but wanting to win is”. The sayings provide an interesting exposition of the person Greg is – a pragmatic, results-oriented individual driven to succeed; but also one who understands that the process is often more transformative and impactful than its outcome.

All of Greg’s traits – visionary, determined, steadfast, and prudent – have served him well throughout his competitive and coaching career, taking him from his wins at the Olympics and Commonwealth Games, studies in the Australian Institute of Sports and numerous high-profile coaching jobs to his current role at the Club. Aside from helming the development of the Club’s Aquatics training programs, Greg oversees a team of 13 Team Members across the functions of coaching, watersports, and lifeguarding.

In 2019, following the Club’s redevelopment and the unveiling of its new swimming complex, Greg took on a leadership role in rebuilding the Aquatics Program. The task at hand was a daunting one, seeing that all swimming and other water-based activities had to be put on hold during the renovation period. But Greg saw an opportunity to rebuild and raise the standing of the Club’s Aquatics Program by focusing on human capital – enhancing the professional competencies of the individuals on his team – and introducing innovative, world-class elements to the curriculum.

Left to right: Rodel, Abdul, Greg, Zack and Hariz

A strategic component of this rebranding initiative was to establish a partnership with SwimAmerica, a premier learn-to-swim program operated by the American Swimming Coaches Association. Over the course of fulfilling accreditation requirements, Greg, Assistant Coach Hariz Zailani, and Aquatics Coordinator Zack Leong earned the honor of becoming the only three SwimAmerica Program Directors in Southeast Asia, making the Club the sole facility in the aforementioned region qualified to run the SwimAmerica Program.

This, alongside the newly constructed state-of-the art physical amenities, solidified the Club’s reputation as one of the leading venues at which to engage in all things Aquatics – whether for recreational or competitive pursuits. It was evident that the Club’s revitalized Aquatics Program was making quite the splash under Greg’s astute leadership.

Greg attributes a large part of his ability to see this hefty project through to the support of his team, and is thankful to be surrounded by dedicated, passionate people willing to lend a hand to lift each other up at work and beyond. Citing one example, he says, “I am fortunate to have individuals like Chief Lifeguard Abdul, one of the club’s longest-serving staff members, who has been a source of wisdom for other Team Members, including me”.

While extremely proud of the success of the Aquatics Program, Greg is even more moved by the heart and soul of it – his team. Previously unaccustomed to relying on others for assistance or succour, he now thrives on the spirited camaraderie; a change that might surprise others more than Greg.

After all, he has known from the very start that the journey to the finish line is often more transformative than the crossing of it. And that’s a real win in life.

Learn more about the Club’s Aquatics Program here.

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