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Sports scholarships for student-athletes

Speech by Minister Grace Fu at the Singapore Olympic Foundation – Peter Lim Scholarship Award Ceremony 2018
01 June 2018

Mr Ng Ser Miang

Chairman, Singapore Olympic Foundation

Mr Peter Lim

Mr Koji Murofushi

Athletes and Parents

Ladies and Gentlemen

1. A very good afternoon to all of you. I am happy to join you today as 269 of our outstanding student-athletes are awarded the Singapore Olympic Foundation (SOF) – Peter Lim Scholarship.

2. To this year’s scholarship recipients, my heartiest congratulations. We are all very proud of your sporting achievements at the inter-school, regional and international levels.  This scholarship is awarded in recognition of your potential as young athletes, and I hope it will encourage you as you continue your sporting journeys.

Sport brings people together

3. I am heartened to see a diverse group of award recipients here today, hailing from 91 schools and representing 30 sports.  Some of you might have already met on the football pitch or arena as competitors.  Others might have had the privilege of representing Singapore and interacting with athletes from other countries. We may come from different backgrounds, speak different languages.  Yet, bound by our shared passion for sport, we make friends and develop respect for one another, as we push our individual boundaries in the pursuit of sports excellence.  This is the beauty of sport, which brings together people from all walks to life.   

Nurturing the champions of tomorrow

4. At this juncture, I would like all of you to join me in commending Mr Peter Lim for making possible the SOF-Peter Lim Scholarship, which has supported the aspirations of over 2,300 young athletes since its launch in 2010.  Mr Lim, your generosity has helped nurture many of our Team Singapore athletes today, such as special guest Joseph Schooling (swimming), Martina Lindsay Veloso (shooting), and Muhammad Nur Alfian Juma’en (silat).  Thank you. 

5. The Government is committed to making sporting opportunities accessible to all.  In this regard, the Singapore Sports School was launched in 2004 to provide dedicated sporting and academic pathways for aspiring young athletes.  To ensure that no young talented Singaporean is deprived of an opportunity because of one’s family background, the Sports School provides scholarships and financial assistance to subsidise school fees, training and boarding expenses.  About three in ten of its students receive subsidies of 70% or more, with one in ten receiving 100% subsidies.  Beyond the Sports School, the National Youth Sports Institute and the Singapore Sports Institute also work with aspiring young athletes to develop them to their fullest potential.

6. It truly takes a village to raise champions, and we see this through the combined efforts of the Singapore National Olympic Council, Sport Singapore, our National Sports Associations, schools, coaches, sports specialists, parents, sponsors, and many others. The support given by Mr Peter Lim complements and supplements Government’s efforts well, in providing support to more athletes, so that Team Singapore can do even better.

Succeeding on the world stage

7. I understand that some of you are aiming to qualify for the upcoming Asian Games and Youth Olympic Games.  There are those amongst you, like Ethan Poh, Crystal Wong and Cheyenne Goh, who have represented Singapore in international competitions such as the recent Commonwealth Games and Winter Olympic Games. You are role models for our younger athletes, just like our special guests Joseph and Koji Murofushi. Train hard, work hard and do us proud!

8. To many of our young athletes here today – this is just the beginning. The road ahead will not always be easy.  To achieve sporting excellence at the international level, you must possess not only talent, but exceptional motivation and determination.  I would like to leave you with a quote by basketball legend Michael Jordan.  Jordan attributed success in his sporting career to not giving up in spite of the many setbacks he experienced along the way.  He famously said, “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career.  I’ve lost almost 300 games.  26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed.  I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life.  And that is why I succeed.”

9. So it is important that we persevere and refuse to give in to setbacks that come our way from time to time.  I hope that all of you here today will one day become champions in your own right, rallying fellow Singaporeans through sport, and bringing glory to our nation.  I wish you all the very best. 

10. Thank you.          
Last Updated: 04 June 2018

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