The Best Thing Our Children Can Learn From Joseph Schooling

I was in Singapore when history was made for the city-state on the 13 August (2016). Singapore won its first Olympic gold medal ever. Obviously, another sense of pride was made for the Little Red Dot! This historic moment deserves every aspect of jubilation.  Hats off to Joseph Schooling who took the challenge to bring the pride to his nation.

The Best to Learn From Joseph Schooling

We watched those moments with greater anticipations. We were overwhelmed by joys at the 50.39 seconds of the game when Schooling touched the wall of the pool. As Singaporeans are still living the moments, parents are inspired. But children are truly inspired, even more.

Every child sees himself as the potential next Schooling. Every couple sees themselves as the potential next May and Colin Schooling, the parents of Joseph Schooling. They form the most inspiring Singaporean family of the day. Perhaps, they may hold this honour for next two to four years, as far as sports and athletics are concerned. They have set a good example for all of us, parents and kids. But Schooling is Schooling. No one can be Schooling.

It’s likely that swimming schools and swimming instructors will see an increase in the number of subscribers in their services. Simply because the current trend is swimming, and every child wants to be a professional swimmer, thanks to Joseph Schooling who has inspired us all.

While every child wants to be Jo Schooling and, perhaps, be a professional swimmer, we have the responsibility, as parents, to make it known to them what Olympics is all about. There’re 28 sports that were contested in, at the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games. It is not swimming alone. Has it been swimming alone, perhaps, Schooling would have not had the chance to make this history. Thus, if every Singaporean child is to subscribe to swimming, yes, one or 5 will get the opportunity, but the remaining will fail to attain the chance.

No doubt, there are a lot to learn and emulate from the Schooling family. One for sure, is determination, which leads to hardworking and above all, sense of belonging to one’s nation. Let us take these lessons, comprehend them, and then teach them to our children. Let us then assess to explore their respectful unique talents and make them the Schooling of themselves.

If this is achieved, starting from today, the next two to three Olympic Games will see more gold medals for Singapore. You may choose to support your child to master archery. My next door neighbour chooses to help his child to achieve his dream in sprinting. Your cousin may decide to help his child to master tennis. Your friend’s child picks up Judo. Another goes for badminton. Each one of us encourages our kids to master a sport different from other children, but in accordance to their interests, passion and talents. With that, we can, collectively, prepare the next generation of gold medal winners.

Upon watching the documentary which highlighted the life of Jo Schooling by Channel News Asia (CNA), Schooling’s mother, Madam May Schooling did mention, that Jo has been in love with water since he was a baby. That was where his passion for, and talent of swimming was discovered, and subsequently the dream for Olympic participation and winning gold medal(s) emerged. Mr and Mrs Schooling then supported the young Schooling to nurture that passion and dream by lots of sacrifice and selflessness that resulted to making him Singapore’s historical Olympics hero of Rio 2016. This is to say, assess and find out what your child loves since infancy. Consider his talent in that, and check that against permissibility. Then build on from there.

Joseph Schooling has emerged as Singapore’s national hero. Let us learn from his determination and the sacrifices made for him by his parents, and be inspired to sacrifice for our kids to make from them more Jo Schoolings in the numerous sports.

The breakthrough is always the most difficult. Schooling has successfully done that. Our challenge now is to break through the various sports, and bring home more Olympic gold medals and let history continue.

Baba Salam is a lifelong seeker of knowledge, a writer and blogger. He writes here at He's also the man behind GSalam.Net. He's also the founder of TVQ.Academy. You can find him on Twitter @1babasalam, Facebook @1BabaSalam, and Instagram @1BabaSalam.