From competitive swimmer to swim teacher, nothing could keep Marcus Cheah from the pool!
What’s your story?
I’m the founder and the Head Coach of The Swim Society. I do specialised training sessions and learn-to-swim classes for children and adults. Having been a national swimmer for the past 15 years, I actually stumbled onto swim teaching by accident while I was studying in Melbourne, Australia. I was graduating with a degree in Media and Communications and wanted to work in the advertising industry but I guess there was no way I could get away from the pool.
What excites you most about your industry?
Swimming is such a big sport in Singapore and is even more so now that we are finally on the Olympic map with Joseph Schooling’s incredible win at the Rio Games. I cannot wait to see how much the youth of today will benefit from this sport.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I’m currently have a local business based in Asia.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore! What better way to develop the talents here in Singapore for the future generations.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“Being a teacher will change your life forever, because you first learn how to teach, but as you teach, you learn.”
Who inspires you?
John Dempsey. He was the coach that developed me into the swimmer I never thought I’d become. He was also the one who instilled in me various life skills – determination, perseverance, sacrifice, success through hardship – that moulded me into the person I am today.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
In the learn to swim industry, you are constantly interacting with children. I also work with children with special needs. The thing is that every session you spend with them is an opportunity to push their boundaries in learning and I’m always blown away at the capacity they are able to achieve if we stop trying to stifle them with defined limits. Give them the same opportunity to reach for their goals and they will amaze you.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would not have retired from competitive swimming so early. I miss it dearly and wish I had swum a couple more years.
How do you unwind?
I’m into crossfit and it’s a way for me to de-stress and to keep myself fit now that I’m no longer swimming competitively.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Philippines. The island of Palawan is a must visit on anyone’s bucket list. Best beaches in the South Eastern region by far.
Everyone in business should read this book:
7 habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen R. Covey
Shameless plug for your business:
Everyone and anyone can learn how to swim, but swimming the right way takes a coach with the experience and the expertise to point out the crucial details.
How can people connect with you?
Email me at [email protected]
This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:
Callum Laing invests and buys small businesses in a range of industries around Asia. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is the founder & owner of Fitness-Buffet a company delivering employee wellness solutions in 12 countries. He is a Director of, amongst others, Key Person of Influence. A 40 week training program for business owners and executives.
Take the ‘Key Person of Influence’ scorecard <http://www.keypersonofinfluence.com/scorecard/>