Eighteen athletes successfully applied and obtained Sports Excellence Scholarships (spexScholarships) on 2 December to boost their sports careers.
Into its second year, the programme was launched with the aim of providing additional support to athletes with the potential to medal at Asian, World and Olympic levels events.
The pioneer batch of 61 scholars have yielded dividends, as they accounted for a total of 28 medals earned at this year’s Asian Games and Commonwealth Games, out of the overall haul of 41.
The award certificates were presented by Mr Lawrence Wong, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, and chairman of the High Performance Sports (HPS) Steering Committee, to the second batch of athletes at a ceremony at the Singapore Sports Hub’s Black Box Auditorium.
Team Singapore fencer and Asian Games Bronze medallist Lim Wei Wen sharing how the spexScholarship programme aided him in his return to the sport (Photo by Sport Singapore)
Team Singapore’s spexScholars canoeist Annabelle Ng and para shuttler Tay Wei Ming hosted the event, while second year scholar Lim Wei Wen shared how the programme proved essential in his return to fencing after a one-year layoff, where he secured Bronze to give Singapore its first ever Asian Games fencing medal this year.
The eighteen athletes were selected out of 41 shortlisted candidates and 160 overall applicants after a rigorous selection process. The scholars were selected based on key principles which include demonstrated potential for podium success, training commitment as well as good attitude and behaviour.
The new scholars hail from nine sports – badminton, bowling, canoeing, cycling, disability sports, gymnastics, sailing, swimming and table tennis, bringing the total in the spexScholarship programme to 71 across 15 sports.
“It is a huge privilege to receive this award, I‘m looking forward to the support that I’ll be given,” said paddler Isabelle Li.
“It gives a piece of mind to really go all out to train full-time, there will be high performance support in terms of biomechanics, physiology, even sports medicine.”
Minister Lawrence Wong presenting the award certificate to para-swimmer Yip Pin Xiu (Photo by Sport Singapore)
Para-swimmer Yip Pin Xiu added that things will now change for her, with more support given in terms of training and competition plans.
“It will be a great help towards our training and hopefully we are able to go for more exposure; international competitions. The plans will be all drawn out and it is important for an elite athlete to get all these help in order to perform better,” Yip asserted.