While stories of fictional superheroes tend to grab the attention of many, the efforts of real-life superheroes deserve recognition and respect too. In this case, we introduce you to Malaysia’s very own Aquaman, Alex Teo.
The founder of Pusat Latihan Penyelamat Kelemasan and Excellence Swimming Academy, Alex has an outstanding record in contributing to society by equipping others with professional swimming and life-saving techniques. Having more than 35 years experience in coaching and conducting courses for swimming, Alex is extremely dedicated to saving lives by empowering as many people as possible by realising their potentials in swimming.
Hailing from his hometown in Kuching, Sarawak, the highly enthusiastic swimming and life-saving coach has actively conducted swimming classes and life-saving courses, including CPR techniques across kindergartens, schools, public swimming centres, hotels, and private residences alike. Since then, he has been invited to attend and contribute his knowledge and experience in various other courses and seminars, organised by notable bodies that include the Malaysia Civil Defense Force (“Rescue 991” in Kuching), Marine Department Sarawak and Department of Environment. In five years, Alex aims to reach out to more than 10000 people in Sarawak, by educating them on the importance of having water safety awareness.
Recognising the importance of cultivating a sense of awareness on flood and water safety among youths, Alex strongly believes that swimming lessons should join the the list of co-curricular activities in schools, as schools are still considered the primary platform for education by many. A certified international pool and surf lifeguard and instructor, he is credited to having rescued more than 15 survivors from drowning incidents.
Alex’s achievements and efforts are well recognised by local media companies and news agencies, which have been featuring him consistently in their own news coverage. Most recently, in September 2020, Alex was featured in an article by Sin Chew Daily, where he shared during an interview about extremely useful and life-saving tips on how to stay afloat in water by effective breathing techniques and how to utilise nearby floating objects to swim to safety.
In addition to his contributions towards raising awareness on water safety, Alex also volunteered to offer aid to the public during times of uncertainty. Following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic back in early 2020, Alex donated many essential items that include bottles of mineral water, gloves, and face masks to various beneficiaries, especially front liners, such as the Royal Malaysia Police (Sarawak), Malaysian Volunteer Corps Department (Desa Wira), and Malaysian Civil Defense Force (Kuching).
As a token of gratitude and appreciation for his contributions, Alex received numerous recognitions in the past. Among them include the notable “Certificate of Thanks From The Royal Life Saving Society Commonwealth Council In Recognition of Valuable Services Rendered to the Society in Year 2005”, “The Royal Life Saving Society Commonwealth Council (Service Cross) In Recognition of Valuable Services Rendered to the Society in Year 2012”, as well as other certificates of appreciation from many schools. In 2016, Alex was also named as the “Ahli Bintang Sarawak (A.B.S)” by the Darjah Yang Amat Mulia Bintang Kenyalang Sarawak.
With his impressive track record of inspiring others to learn swimming and life-saving techniques, Alex is the true definition that not every superhero wears a cape.