Sport Singapore welcomes its second batch of brand ambassadors! They are your everyday Singaporeans, tackling the same demands of life as you do, but SportSG's newest sport and fitness influencers also hold a strong belief that sport can inspire us to live better. Get to know them in our feature series here!
Lim Yao Xiang may be a business owner, but making money is not his primary objective.
Instead, he hopes to bring fitness and fresh perspectives to his students. He wishes to share the value of sport, as all coaches do.
The new SportSG ambassador and former national athlete is also keen to take his coaching to a bigger platform, bringing his passion for fitness to the community and helping them to reap long-term benefits.
“I’m a very strong advocate of sport because of what fitness does for me, and also because competitive sport has changed my life. While not everyone is going to be a national athlete, participating in sports can definitely change your life. It’s not just about having a good body. It’s knowing that you are fit enough to do certain things physically, and even expanding your social circle,” the 36-year-old expressed.
Trained in sport science, Yao Xiang had kicked off his sporting career as a national age-group swimmer, before switching to fin swimming and water polo, earning himself SEA Games gold medals in the latter two disciplines.
Upon retiring from competitive sport, he focused on teaching, before leaving the profession to start The Fitness Project with his former water polo teammate Teh Chong Nyen.
His fitness lifestyle company has been offering HydroFit workouts, a novel programme which involves exercises done atop floating boards in swimming pools.
Emphasising on “movements within movements” to achieve a range of fitness goals, HydroFit seeks to help its participants re-hone basic actions by introducing an unstable platform.
In order for participants to stay stable and achieve the “perfect form”, as Yao Xiang explained, they would have to engage all their muscles.
Sharing more about the benefits of training on water, he said: “On land, you don’t even think about it because there’s already that stability.
But you won’t have to worry about falling [either] because it’s just water – it won’t hurt!”
“It’s about learning to use every muscle to have a certain power output, so you don’t waste any energy. Everybody is more dominant on one side. If you’re landing on a particular dominant side while doing a jump or squat, you’ll lose your balance while on the board. You’ll learn how to be more efficient in your use of muscles,” he added.
Ultimately, he aspires to help those he engages with to achieve long-term fulfilment through sport, introducing fresh perspectives by breaking movements down and paying attention to the smallest of details.
“I’d like to slow things down for people. In Singapore, we’re always so used to rushing and doing more. We always feel that if we’re doing more, we’re accomplishing more. But taking a step back and looking into the details will help you get better long-term,” he noted.
The tireless instructor has also been spending his time coaching water polo, using a similar coaching approach, at Raffles Girls’ School and Chinese Swimming Club.
He started an initiative known as The Aquatics Project, conceived on the back of The Fitness Project, hoping to bring water polo to the community.
As he asserted: “We want to bring it to the people, getting more youths to learn a new sport. Not every school offers water polo, not [every school] has a swimming pool. We might do well in the sport on a national level, but how do we grow it on a grassroots level?”
Presently, he is looking forward to working with ActiveSG to bring both water polo and HydroFit to the public.
After all, according to him: “At the end of the day, the joy of being able to share something you like with people is a special privilege.”
Get inspired by Yao Xiang’s fitness approach on Instagram @limyaoxiang. Keep watching @sport_singapore and @sgsportstv on Instagram, and myActiveSG and SG Sports TV Facebook for more too!