At the Sports Excellence Business (spexBusiness) Network Appreciation Lunch on Wednesday, Minister for Culture, Community, and Youth Grace Fu announced new initiatives that will support Team Singapore athletes in their training as well as smoothen their transition into life beyond sports.
One of the initiatives is the spexEntrepreneurship Programme, which will enable empower athletes with the skills needed to become successful entrepreneurs.
Singapore Sports Institute (SSI) along with Action Community for Entrepreneuership (ACE) will provide athletes with the know-how and resources to set up their own businesses.
Minister Grace Fu (C) witnesses the sigining of the Memorandum of Understanding between Action Community for Entrepreneurship and SSI. Photo: Sport Singapore
Team Singapore swimmer and Olympian Tao Li – who is an entrepreneur herself and had recently started her own company, Tao Li Swimming Club – said the initiative was invaluable to would-be business owners.
“We get to acquire business skills, for example in writing business plans,” the 26-year-old Asian Games gold medallist said.
“Connections and mentorships are also important, hence I hope to be able to meet up with different kinds of entrepreneurs through networking opportunities and learn under the guidance of experienced entrepreneurs.”
The spexBusiness Network was set up by SSI two years ago to help athletes walk the fine line between sports and career and on Wednesday, Minister Fu welcomed nine new companies to the fold.
“I am pleased to note that with the nine companies that have come on board today, the spexBusiness Network has now expanded to 30 companies,” she said.
“That's more than triple the number of companies since the network was launched, which is a sign that more companies are seeing the value of sport.”
Team Singapore athletes and SSI Chief Robert Gambardella (C) before the unveiling of the Team Singapore card. Photo: Sport Singapore
Among its new partners, is Hyflux Limited which believes that supporting local sporting talents will prove beneficial to all parties involved.
“It is a mutually beneficial arrangement as we're able to recruit and nurture local national athletes whilst providing them with a platform to shine and develop their career through our diverse business units,” said Hyflux Chief Executive Officer Olivia Lum.
“This unique talent pool of sportsmen also provides diversity in background and will hopefully bring fresh perspectives to our business.”
The Team Singapore Card was also launched on Wednesday. It offers discounts for athletes at the various retail outlets around the Sports Hub and will help athletes mitigate daily expenses when training in the area.