Minister for Trade & Industry Chan Chun Sing posing with Team Singapore sporting stars and legends (past and present) at the fundraising dinner. Photo: Singapore Swimming Association
The Singapore Swimming Association (SSA) held a fundraising dinner to help aquatics athletes fulfill their dreams and bring glory to Singapore.
Said SSA VP for Partnerships, Alvin Hang: “Our aquatics athletes have dared to dream over the last five decades, defied odds, proved naysayers wrong and brought a nation to their feet cheering. Working with our partners and sponsors, we are always finding more ways to support our athletes to dare to dream. In 2016, we recognised the need for additional financial support over and above annual grants. We set up a fund that enabled us to be nimble in providing targeted additional discretionary funding to boost athletes’ performances, build coaches’ and clubs’ capabilities.”
Since then, funds raised from the last fundraiser have been used to support over 50 athletes in their endeavours. For example, the funds have been used to send the women’s water polo team and our artistic swimming pair for overseas competitions for more match exposure to hone their match readiness. Athletes who want to give back in the form of professional coaching after they retire from active swimming are also given a helping hand to help them transition smoothly and upskill themselves.
Added SSA President Lee Kok Choy: “This year, we have raised more than $400,000 to date and it would not have been possible without generous corporate and individual donors. As we continue to build this fund over the years, we look forward to their continued support to enable our athletes to dare to dream.”
An additional $20,000 was also raised by Team Singapore national athletes in the disciplines of swimming, water polo, diving and artistic Swimming, by encouraging dinner guests to purchase Raffle Tickets.
The funds raised can be used to apply for 1 for 1 matching grants under the One Team Singapore Fund (OTSF) subject to the criteria spelled out by Sport Singapore and final approval after evaluation.
The funds raised will be used to support the following programmes:
1. Education and Career support
2. Competition opportunities overseas
3. Access to Sports Science and medicine
4. Coach/athlete development
5. Pathway development
6. Workshops and clinics for parents
7. Data analytics and information
8. Training environment infrastructure and software
9. Management Capabilities
The dinner was graced by Minister for Trade & Industry Chan Chun Sing and attended by more than 400 guests from the sports fraternity, corporate partners, as well as past and present stars of the different aquatic disciplines attended the event. Former stars included Pat Chan, Joscelin Yeo, Tao Li, Tan Eng Bock, Lim Teck Yin and Alan Heng.
Guests were treated to a specially curated 5-course menu by celebrity chef Justin Quek who is recognised as one of Singapore’s top chefs and whose name is synonymous with French fine dining and his deep understanding of Asian Cuisines. Quek has served dignitaries at state dinners and is highly sought after for VIP banquets.
“This fundraiser is a great initiative as it brings out the best in Singapore’s aquatics athletes and helps them to perform at the top of their game. It is not very different from professional world class chefs who also aspire to be the best that they can be through their cooking. I hope the funds raised will help us create more champions who will in turn inspire even more athletes to dream big”, said Chef Justin.
The fundraising dinner is just another milestone in what will be a busy year end for the SSA, who will be hosting the FINA Water Polo Challengers Cup in October as well as the FINA Diving Grand Prix in November before their athletes head off to the SEA Games 2019 in Philippines.