We thank Mr Daniel Cheng for his feedback ("More funding needed for local sporting talent"; Oct 25) .
An elite athlete's journey is certainly peppered with challenges. While constant striving against the odds is difficult, this is at the heart of a champion's mindset.
We have instituted a wide range of support schemes to help our Team Singapore athletes realise their sporting potential and achieve success in the international arena. The schemes are calibrated to provide support for different tiers of potential and aspiration. Hence, an Olympic medal hopeful or potential world champion will receive a larger quantum of support than one who is not yet achieving at a national or regional level.
Our potential Team Singapore athletes can start at the Singapore Sports School, which takes in more than 100 student-athletes every year, across a wide range of sports.
The Sports School provides a conducive environment for our budding talent to develop in their sport in their teenage years, and there are plans to broaden its coverage to benefit more student-athletes next year.
The Sports Excellence Scholarship is the pinnacle scheme that is awarded to athletes who demonstrate potential to win medals at Asian, world or Olympic levels, and the ability to commit to a full-time training load.
Their continuation on the scholarship from year to year is predicated on meeting clear and agreed-on performance targets.
National athletes who are not provided scholarships receive comprehensive support through grants for training assistance and loss of wages, support services such as sports psychology and physiology, and medical care and physiotherapy, if required.
In the run-up to major games, we support the team through campaign funding schemes, such as the Final Push Programme (FPP) for the 28th SEA Games. Among those who benefited from the FPP was rower Saiyidah Aisyah, who received more than $50,000 worth of support, excluding the services of her coach. This is in addition to receiving the Sports Excellence Medical Insurance Cover.
Finally, Sport Singapore also provides our national athletes with assistance and support to prepare for their post-athletic careers.
We echo Mr Cheng's sentiments on the need for both public and private-sector support. We thank the various corporations that have given their support thus far.
Chief, Singapore Sports Institute