Chiok Sze Yeo
Written by Veronica Noronha
At the tender age of four, Chiok Sze Yeo discovered that she loved the sport of swimming. From the moment her toes touched the water, she was hooked. By the time she turned five, she was already starting her competitive swimming career. Fast forward to 2019 and Yeo, now 14 years old, is a member of the Markham Aquatics Club (MAC) and ranked #1 in Canada in her age group in the butterfly stroke.
When asked to describe how she feels about this ranking, she humbly says, “it feels great to be ranked #1 but I can’t be too proud because I know I can always improve.” Wise beyond her years, she knows that training every day is what will help her stay in the #1 spot.
Yeo proudly represents the City of Markham on the swim circuit, training out of the Markham Pan Am Centre, which she describes as, “a great facility and the pool is amazing.” She enjoys training long course and short course and changing it up every day. The Markham Pan Am Centre is a world-class sport complex and a place for our community sport organizations to teach, learn and develop athletes to become the best in their sport. Elite athletes, just like Yeo.
Yeo has a dedicated team behind her, supporting her efforts to be the best she can be in her sport. MAC’s head coach Darren Ward, describes Yeo as an, “extremely motivated and driven athlete…. focused on the technical side of swim and has a tremendous ability to sprint which is uncommon in her age group.”
The Markham Sport Development Unit, who manages the Markham Pan Am Centre, is committed to working with coaches and athletes like Ward and Yeo to help them compete the ‘Markham way’, which is to demonstrate actions and values that exemplify and represent the best of our community. Yeo is a prime example of how this commitment is paying off. It is athletes like Yeo and dedicated coaches like Ward who are helping to build a strong Markham sporting culture in partnership with the Markham Sport Development Unit.
Yeo’s perseverance and commitment to her sport recently became evident at an Invitational Swim meet hosted by MAC at the Markham Pan AM Centre in early Spring 2019. Yeo, placed 1st out of 20 in two heats: the 50 metre Butterfly Stroke (28.98) and 100 Metre Freestyle (1:00.70). With these results, there is no doubt she will achieve anything she sets her mind on. Constantly balancing her academics with achievement in sport, she has plans to eventually swim for a University team.
We will be keeping our eyes on Yeo as she grows her athletic prowess and continues to make Markham proud.