$100,000 fund for Singapore athletes, sports facilities upgraded

Singapore athletes Nazri Sutari (left) and Abdul Rahman (right) at the World Kickboxing Championships with Joel Lye, vice-president of the Kickboxing Federation of Singapore. (PHOTO: Kickboxing Federation of Singapore)
Singapore athletes Nazri Sutari (left) and Abdul Rahman (right) at the 2019 World Kickboxing Championships with Joel Lye, vice-president of the Kickboxing Federation of Singapore. (PHOTO: Kickboxing Federation of Singapore)

SINGAPORE — A new $100,000 fund will be launched to support athletes who represent Singapore in international competitions, but do not currently receive campaign funding.

Made possible through the E. W. Barker Endowment, Temasek Foundation will contribute $100,000 annually towards the “Temasek Foundation Inspire Fund for Athletes”.

This fund will be jointly administered by SportSG and National Youth Sports (NYSI), which will initiate a twice-yearly Grant Call for applications by athletes who have qualified for international competitions, and who wish to receive campaign funding for their competitions. A panel will decide on the recipients of the grant.

These athletes may come from different sporting disciplines – from talented youth athletes in emerging sports such as dodgeball, indoor skydiving and tchoukball, to masters athletes. To pursue their sporting aspirations, some of these athletes are currently self-funded or rely on private donations from well-wishers.

Speaking in Parliament during his ministry’s Committee of Supply (COS) debate on Friday (6 March), Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Culture, Community and Youth Baey Yam Keng said, “We are mindful that there are athletes outside the high performance sports system...who have done well internationally. We want to support their aspirations.”

More details will be announced in the coming months.

MCCY currently invests about $70 million annually in the High Performance Sports (HPS) system, which provides support to the National Sports Associations (NSAs) and carded athletes.

New sporting facilities

To cater to the sporting needs of residents living in the North East region of Singapore, the ground breaking ceremony for the new Regional Sports Centre (RSC) in Punggol will take place later this year. The project is expected to be completed by 2023.

The RSC is part of the Sports Facilities Master Plan (SFMP) and in line with a key thrust of Vision 2030, which aims to provide the majority of Singaporeans access to sports and recreational facilities within a 10-minute walk from their homes by 2030.

Rejuvenation works at five existing ActiveSG facilities were completed last year, with another two scheduled for completion next year. Another five facilities will undergo rejuvenation in the near future and complete in 2021-22. They are: Ang Mo Kio Swimming Complex, Queenstown Sport Centre, Yio Chu Kang Sport Centre, Yishun Sport Centre and Yishun Swimming Complex.

Collaboration with MOE

There will also be more efforts to help young children develop basic movement skills and expose students to various sports.

In 2017, SportSG initiated the Nurture Kids programme, which supports the Early Childhood Development Agency’s development framework for young children. As part of the programme, SportSG partnered 125 preschools in 2019 to introduce Fundamental Movement Skills (FMS) to more than 5,000 pre-schoolers.

The programme provides a safe and fun environment for pre-schoolers to develop FMS such as jumping, throwing and balancing, which lay the foundation for children to learn more complex and sports-specific skills as they grow.

SportSG will be doubling its outreach to 250 preschools in 2020. It will develop an FMS curriculum with the National Institute of Early Childhood (NIEC) for all preschool teacher trainees.

Furthermore, the School Sports Partnership programme aims to provide primary and secondary students with structured learning opportunities and exposure to multiple sports. These sports modules, which involve 10 sports such as badminton, basketball and floorball, will be delivered by ActiveSG coaches during and/or after school hours.

SportSG will also facilitate more opportunities for unstructured play with the introduction of the “Active Play” programme, involving activities which do not require prior sports training or skills. These will take place during recess as well as at school events and ActiveSG sports centres.

Getting parents involved

Complementing these initiatives, SportSG will provide parents with resource kits, workshops and events designed for parent-child participation.

SportSG will also launch a website to educate parents on areas such as sport nutrition and injury, and make available tools to facilitate parent-child conversations and create simple, fun activities at home.

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