barCreated with sketchtool.
Facebook Marketplace ranks last on anti-scam rating system; accounts for nearly 50% of cases
Apr 10, 2024 12:16 pm

Facebook Marketplace ranks bottom in anti-scam ratings, accounting for over 50% of instances.On an August morning eight years ago, 20 young swimmers gathered around a television at the Civil Service Club in Singapore.They were typically in the pool, but coach Marcus Cheah made an exception. After all, he had a sneaking sensation something spectacular was about to happen."I kind of just knew that we were very likely to be in a position where we could watch history in the making," said former national swimmer Cheah.At the Chinese Swimming Club, two-time Olympian, three-time Asian Games bronze medalist, and coach David Lim had his swimmers watch the event after their morning workout.These young swimmers and many in Singapore were astonished when Joseph Schooling won the Olympic 100m butterfly final."It was a once-in-a-lifetime thing; being excited was an understatement," said swim school owner Lim. The crowd cheered, jumped, and shouted.Last Tuesday (Apr 2), Schooling, the sole Singaporean Olympic gold medalist, retired from competitive swimming.Swimming fraternity members told CNA that the 28-year-old's legacy would be the belief his win inspired others and that further reform is needed for another Singaporean to attain similar heights."The biggest message(was)Singapore can do it at the highest level," said Singapore Aquatics president Mark Chay.Lim: "The contrast between reality and a dream won. Many young swimmers dreamed of making it, but experiencing reality is different."One was six-year-old Nigel Low, who watched with his family at home that morning."I felt proud to be a Singaporean, listening to our anthem at the Olympics," he said, adding that he and his older brother Kobe ran to a pool after Schooling's win."Joseph winning the Olympic gold medal has spurred me on to do my best during training and in every race," said Nigel, who wants to represent Singapore internationally.A Sport Singapore spokeswoman said swimming participation has been "fairly consistent" since 2015.Swimming placed fifth (9%) last year among individuals 13 and older in SportSG's annual poll. Swimming was third at 8% eight years ago.Swim schools had more inquiries after Schooling'sgold, as coaches Chea and Limbo attested.Singapore Aquatics informed CNA that its affiliates—swim schools and clubs—grew from 77 in 2016 to 102 in 2024.Chay said the national sports federation must overcome attrition in “Learn to Swim” programs and nurture competitive swimmers. He said that entry-level programs require less commitment than competitive ones, which can require 10 hours of training a week.Even after Schooling's success, national head coach Gary Tan told CNA that Singapore has to grow its talent pool."We know that the pipeline is still not coming through so there's a lot of effort and emphasis placed on that department," stated.Tan thinks athletes should get encouragement early rather than after they succeed."In the first two years (after Schooling's win) yes, there was a lot more support for us," stated."But it seemed like folks were catching up... If we mean it, we should start earlier."Last year's Sport Excellence Potential (spexPotential) scholarship helped junior athletes, Tan said.A year after Schooling's win, Cheah began coaching at the National Training Centre and observed something familiar in some younger competitive swimmers' technique.“We saw it as butterfly strokes, looking like Schooling,” he said. According to those who spoke CNA, parents should recognize that there is no single way to achieve school achievement.Chay observed that Schooling's parents excelled in planning the best course for their child.“They were very interested in learning, meeting coaches, and researching. They interviewed numerous coaches and swim schools before choosing Bolles, says the former national swimmer.Tan said each parent must find a "formula" that works for their child because every child is born different.However, Cheah has seen some parents put extra pressure on their children after Schooling's success."They say: ‘I want you to taste the Olympic dream, now it’s possible'."Singapore swimmers face other obstacles. Coach Lim said National Service is one.He described teenage swimmers practicing "for their lives" before 18 to avoid NS.Lim said world-class swimmers don't push themselves until they reach their physical peak, which is after 18.His NS education was on hold since 2014, when he was 19. He joined in 2022 following the Tokyo Olympics.“His) developmental curve was the same as say a normal American or Australian swimmer,” Lim said.According to Cheah, swimmers struggle to balance their sport and school.Since the NCAA system is so rigorous for college athletes, some resort to the US, which can be a culture shock, he said. He said that swimmers have had their ambitions dashed in the US.Cheah also noted that some educators still don't grasp swimmers' goals, despite Schooling's 2016 success."Schools need to learn to understand that there are two sides of what … being successful (is)," stated.Sometimes kids come home from school and say, ‘My teacher told me I should quit swimming because if I fail, I'm going to be a road sweeper’.”Many things had to happen before a "extraordinary moment," Chay said, starting with Schooling's parents' idea of success outside academics.Of course it was vital, but they recognized success doesn't only mean As in school... If parents can talk about hobbies instead of grades, maybe we'll see more Olympic champions."Schooling's gold medal has changed Singapore society, but a seismic revolution is needed.“He has already achieved the holy grail of all sport, the Olympic gold medal,” Lim remarked. All our children's children will learn about schooling from history books. That's inspiring.”