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Comprehensive support system for athletes

10 September 2018


Mr Ganesh Rajaram: To ask the Minister for Culture, Community and Youth (a) whether Sport Singapore and national sports associations have developed programmes and training to advise talented Singapore athletes who may be considering professional sporting careers; and (b) if so, whether there is a comprehensive support system for athletes that advises them on preparations, what to expect and contract negotiations and whether Singaporean athletes are aware of such training and support systems.



1. Sports have the power to rally and unite a nation, and we want to see Singaporeans achieve their full potential. One of MCCY’s priorities is to enable our Team Singapore (TS) athletes to reach their full potential and achieve sporting success when they represent Singapore in international competitions, such as the Olympics and Southeast Asian Games.  Sport Singapore (SportSG) partners stakeholders such as the National Sports Associations (NSAs) to support our athletes by providing financial grants, coaching, sports science and sports medicine expertise, as well as overseas training and competition opportunities.  SportSG also supports the personal development of Team Singapore athletes through its Athlete Life Management (ALM) programme, which helps athletes cope with the demands of high performance sports, while pursuing education goals and preparing for a successful transition to a post-sport career.

2. In 2013, the Singapore Sports Institute (SSI) set up the Sports Excellence Business (spexBusiness) Network to offer career development opportunities to active and retired Team Singapore athletes, including internships, apprenticeships, part-time positions, as well as permanent positions with flexible work arrangements.  There are now 58 corporate partners in the network, and over 220 Team Singapore athletes have benefitted from the network. They include former national athletes, such as shuttler Derek Wong who has made a successful transition to a post-sport career with Deloitte.

3. In addition, SSI has partnered 12 Institutes of Higher Learning under its spexEducation Scheme to support student-athletes with flexible academic arrangements to help them balance the demands of both sport and academic development.  Athlete Life Coaching is also provided to guide athletes in their education pathway, as well as support for schools’ admission and scholarship applications. To date, over 400 student-athletes have benefited from this scheme. 

4. In the course of striving for sporting excellence, some athletes may consider pursuing professional sporting careers.  As the decision to turn professional is a personal choice, this is best left to the athlete to decide in consultation with the family, manager (if he/she has appointed one), and the respective NSA. SportSG shares with the athletes the key considerations for turning professional, and provides resources.  In 2016, SSI partnered Deloitte to develop a reference guide for Team Singapore athletes on how to secure, maintain and retain corporate sponsorships as a professional athlete.

5. Our Team Singapore athletes are aware that they can avail themselves of all these programmes we have put in place to support their overall well-being as they pursue excellence in sports.

Last Updated: 11 September 2018

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