Ms Denise Phua Lay Peng: To ask the Minister for Culture, Community and Youth whether the Ministry will re-consider the practice of offering smaller monetary rewards for Paralympians compared to Olympians representing Singapore.
Mr Alex Yam Ziming: To ask the Minister for Culture, Community and Youth since the previous Olympics and Paralympics in 2016 (a) whether there has been any changes to the monetary awards administered under the Singapore National Olympic Council and Singapore National Paralympic Council; (b) whether the disparity in the awards schemes can be reduced; and (c) whether the Government can do more to encourage major donors to better support disability sports and our Paralympians.
Mr Edwin Tong, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth & Second Minister for Law:
- The Major Games Award Programme (MAP) and the Athlete Achievement Award (AAA) are private award schemes. They are managed by the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) and the Singapore National Paralympic Council (SNPC) respectively, which are non-governmental organisations. The monetary rewards offered under the MAP and AAA are raised and decided respectively by the SNOC and SNPC. MCCY will support SNOC and SNPC to engage corporate and other entities to close the gap between the MAP and AAA.
- The disparity in cash awards does not reflect how Government values our para-athletes vis-à-vis our able-bodied athletes.
- The Government is committed to providing the best support for Team Singapore athletes – equally for both able-bodied and para-athletes – by building a High-Performance Sports (HPS) system that enables them to pursue their sporting ambitions and achieve their goals. We also endeavour to enhance participation at the grassroots level, provide pathways to our athletes so that they can aspire to their own peaks, and support each athlete as they compete on the international arena.
- Today, the Government invests about $70 million annually into the HPS system that provides well-rounded and customised support for both our able-bodied and para-athletes. Our system is one that is merit-based, and support is tailored to the needs of our athletes and the requirements of the sport. Government also set up the One Team Singapore Fund (OTSF) in 2017 where we match sporting donations up to $50 million. The OTSF donations augment the HPS funding to both our abled-bodied and para-athletes. To date, Government has matched approximately $15 million of donations.
- We agree with the Members that our corporates and public’s support are essential to realise an inclusive society, including in sports. We look forward to more in our society working with us to build a Singapore where every individual has the opportunity to realise their talents and achieve their fullest potential.