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6 new companies sign up to support Team Singapore athletes

The companies, such as DBS Bank and Deloitte Singapore, joined the Sports Excellence Business Network for Athletes on Thursday (July 31) to help athletes better juggle work and sporting commitments.

SINGAPORE: More companies are throwing their support behind Team Singapore athletes by offering them internships, apprenticeships and jobs with flexible hours so they can also train for their sports.

On Thursday (July 31), six new companies announced their decision to join the Sports Excellence Business (spexBusiness) Network for Athletes, adding to the seven already on the initiative that was launched last November. They come from a wide range of industries, from banking to logistics, to fitness and F&B. 

The new additions are: Amore Fitness; Borneo Motors Singapore; DBS Bank; Deloitte Singapore; DHL Supply Chain; and Sakae Holdings, said Sport Singapore. The other seven companies are Adecco; Charles & Keith; KPMG; MSIG Insurance; MOH Holdings; Resorts World Sentosa; and StarHub.

The spexBusiness Network for Athletes was formed last year to drive the Sports Excellence Career (spexCareer) Scheme and help athletes achieve their career goals, said Sport Singapore.

By joining the scheme, companies can get these athletes to be their brand ambassadors, and their sporting experience can also add to the companies' team building efforts to create a diverse and vibrant workplace, it said, and hopes that more companies will come on board.

In addition, Minister of State for Trade and Industry Teo Ser Luck also announced the inaugural spexBusiness Advisory Panel on Thursday.

Headed by Ms Tan Yen Yen, Regional Vice President and Managing Director for Asia Pacific (South) at SAS Institute, the Panel's main role will be to ensure the successful implementation of the spexBusiness Network for Athletes.

"It's my pleasure to work with business leaders who believe in supporting our athletes, who have put in plenty of sacrifices and dedication to bring glory to our country. The world of sports is no different from the world of business and we can help to bridge the gap," said Ms Tan.

Mr Teo Ser Luck also empathised with athletes having to balance work and training, saying that it is never easy. "It's always not easy to balance, and if you're married with kids, and you're a national athlete with a career, it doubles the effort to juggle," he said. 

"Those with sporting excellence, they really do very well because they have commitment to excel, and they are very resilient. So we feel that these people will be able to deliver top performance in our profession," said Ms Seah Gek Choo, Partner at Deloitte Assurance and Advisory Services.

Team Singapore netballer Suhailah Kariman says this will give athletes the confidence to do their job better. "You want to give back more, because when a company is so flexible, you just want to show your gratitude to them," she said.

The spexCareer scheme is set to support more than 1,000 Singapore athletes every year. To date, 21 have benefited from the scheme.

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