SINGAPORE: Singaporean tycoon Peter Lim has pledged a total of S$30 million to helping local youth, including homegrown athletes and those with less privileged backgrounds, it was announced on Wednesday (Jul 3).
S$10 million will be donated to the Singapore Olympic Foundation (SOF)-Peter Lim Scholarship, the organisations said in a joint media release, which will go into supporting young local athletes for 10 years from 2021 to 2030.
READ: First sport climbing, ice-skating athletes awarded SOF-Peter Lim scholarships
In 2010, Mr Lim donated S$10 million to the SOF to start a sport scholarship. Since then, 2,642 scholarships worth S$7.2 million have been disbursed in four categories - Primary, Secondary, Tertiary and High Performance Under-18.
Recipients, who have to meet a set of criteria including posting consistent results in relevant sports competitions, can use the money to pay for competition expenses, buy sport equipment as well as cover school-related expenses.
"A majority of the recipients come from financially challenged backgrounds and have demonstrated a potential to excel in their respective sports," the release stated.
This year, 280 student athletes in 44 sports from 83 schools received S$781,000.
Mr Lim will also donate S$20 million to start a community project focused on helping children from less privileged backgrounds reach their potential.
SPORTS CREATE SHARED EXPERIENCES FOR SINGAPOREANS: DPM
Speaking at the scholarship award presentation on Wednesday, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat hailed Mr Lim’s contributions, calling it a vote of confidence and belief in Singapore’s young athletes.
Mr Heng expressed hope that this would inspire others in the community to step forward in various ways to support the development of sports in the country.
Mr Heng said the ecosystem of support required to develop local athletes must involve every stakeholder and cannot be undertaken by the Government alone.
He also spoke about how the Singapore Government needed to shift from focusing primarily on working for Singaporeans to one that worked closely with Singaporeans in the design and implementation of public policies in the next phase of nation-building.
“This is no different in the area of sports development. Working together will allow us to better draw on the diversity of passions and expertise among us.
“We will need to better bring together the many stakeholders including the Singapore National Olympic Council, Singapore National Paralympic Council, the National Sports Associations, officials, healthcare professionals, sports scientists, coaches, parents, athletes, corporates, as well as the wider community,” he added.
Mr Heng said sports have also helped to expand the country’s common spaces, with Singaporeans from different walks of life bonding over sports and keeping an active lifestyle.
He added that Singapore’s sporting moments form shared experiences for the country’s people, citing how thousands turned up at the victory parade to celebrate Joseph Schooling’s historic gold medal win at the Rio 2016 Olympics.
He also cited how Singaporeans came forward to volunteer when the country hosted the SEA Games and ASEAN Para Games in 2015.