NMSA knows importance of having swimming pool

Posted on Feb 24 2023


Participants of Tan Holdings 50th Anniversary Swim Meet pose with Tan Holdings executives and Northern Mariana Islands Swimming Federation officials after a $5,000 donation was made by the Tan Siu Lin Foundation last Saturday at the Civic Center Beach.(MARK RABAGO)

Northern Marianas Sports Association president Jerry Tan understands the challenges CNMI swimmers are going through since the Kan Pacific Swimming Pool in Marpi closed in 2018.

“As John [Northern Mariana Islands Sports Federation vice president John Hirsh] said, swimming has experienced a lot of hardship for almost five years now. And John and I both sit on the Northern Marianas Sports Association board and I wanted to share this with the swimming community that we are always constantly reviewing what we can do as far as a swimming pool is concerned,” he said during the awards ceremony of last Saturday’s Tan Holdings 50th Anniversary Swim Meet. 

In the meantime, Tan said he is thankful that local swimmers have adjusted and are now using the open water to train and host competitions. 

“I heard the open ocean is just as good if not better, but I think we need to have both, right? So congratulations to all the swimmers for not giving up the sport in spite of the challenges. I am fully aware that swimming is one of the best sports you can really participate in and I do swim but not too much on the ocean for me,” he said.

He also thanked the organizing NMISF for helping to celebrate Tan Holdings’ 50th anniversary, noting though that the company actually was established in 1972 and they’re carrying over the celebrations to 2023 to allow his father, Tan Siu Lin, to travel to Saipan

“Just like the Olympics we delayed a little bit of our celebration continuing into 2023… We want to wait for my dad to be able to travel. They just lifted the restrictions in Hong Kong…If the Olympics can be delayed for one year, we can delay one year, right?” added Tan.

Hirsh, meanwhile, thanked Tan and Tan Holdings as well as its charitable arm, Tan Siu Lin Foundation, for the $5,000 donation that was turned over after the ocean swim.

“We want to thank Tan Holdings for their financial support. These last four years have been very difficult for swimming. We lost our pool in 2018 and there’s been an incredible level of perseverance from the parents, coaches, from the clubs, and of course on the swimmers to keep swimming. You guys are stronger than ever and we are incredibly grateful for everybody coming out and participating.”

Catherine Attao-Toves, Tan Holdings vice president for Corporate Affairs/Human Resources, said on behalf of Tan Holdings and the Tan Siu Foundation, they would like to express their deep appreciation to NMISF board member and Saipan Swim Club coach Richard Sikkel. 

“He’s been a partner in planning this out and helping us learn how to do this event. This is the first time that we’ve done a swimming event like this and to understand the logistics was a great experience. And so we really want to thank all of you guys for coming out and participating and celebrating our 50th anniversary. Like boss Jerry shared, we’re doing this celebration with all the different sports associations and the whole intention is not only to give thanks to the community, but also to celebrate with all community members through sports…So like boss Jerry said, continue to swim, continue to stay active, and we just really appreciate each and every one of you.”

Mark Rabago | Associate Editor
Mark Rabago is the Associate Editor of Saipan Tribune. Contact him at Mark_Rabago@saipantribune.com

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