SINGAPORE — Sprint queen Shanti Pereira and husband-and-wife shuttlers Terry Hee and Jessica Tan are among seven new athletes to come under Sport Singapore's Sport Excellence Scholarship (spexScholarship) programme.
SportSG said in a media release on Thursday (3 November) that this is the first time it did a second round of assessment of spexScholars within a year. This assessment factored fresh data from recent major sports competitions that allow the athletes' performance trajectory to be updated.
Pereira, who won the 200m sprint gold at the Hanoi SEA Games in May and also set national-record times in the 100m and 200m at the Commonwealth Games, was "extremely ecstatic" to receive the spexScholarship again, after earning the scholarship between 2016 and 2018.
"This was one of the goals my coach and I set out for me – to be awarded the spexScholarship once again," said the 26-year-old.
"We have been working really hard, finding ways to develop a better mindset, focusing on recovery, nutrition and what works best for my body, while putting in quality sessions for better performance, amidst gruelling and hectic work schedules off the track.
"It has been a tough seven few years trying to gain my confidence back, but I’m glad that all the hard work has paid off so far, and I’m excited for what’s to come in the next couple of years together with SSI and the spexScholarship."
Breakthrough year for husband-and-wife badminton duo
For Hee and Tan, the spexScholarship caps a breakthrough year for the mixed doubles duo, who won the India Open title in January and clinched a magnificent gold medal in at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in August.
"Our current goal will be 2024 Paris Olympics, and leading up to it, we will need to participate in many competitions in order to gain ranking points. This scholarship will enable us to participate in more competitions and perhaps overseas training to improve our level of play," Hee said.
"I believe as long as you do well enough, your achievements will be recognised, so one thing I always tell myself is to work hard in silence, and let your success be the noise.”
The other athletes to receive the spexScholarship after this round of assessment are: Jin Yujia/Crystal Wong (badminton), Cheung Kemei (fencing) and Fernel Tan (shooting).
This brings the total number of spexScholars to 77 athletes across 23 sports, including 17 who joined the programme earlier this year. These athletes were among the 49 nominations received by the Singapore Sport Institute for FY2022.
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