Athletes' commitment, sacrifices recognised with spexScholarship

Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong (standing in middle, in suit) with award recipients. Singapore's first batch of national athletes to be awarded the Sports Excellence (spex) scholarship were welcomed formally i
Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong (standing in middle, in suit) with award recipients. Singapore's first batch of national athletes to be awarded the Sports Excellence (spex) scholarship were welcomed formally into the programme on Wednesday afternoon, receiving certificates from Mr Wong at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, on Nov 20, 2013.  -- ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI

Singapore's first batch of national athletes to be awarded the Sports Excellence (spex) scholarship were welcomed formally into the programme on Wednesday afternoon, receiving certificates from Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

They are the first beneficiaries of a $40-million war chest that will be set aside over five years for sportsmen and sportswomen with the potential to achieve international success. The spexScholarship will fund the best of local athletes up to the tune of $90,000 (median amount) in their pursuit of glory.

A group of 10, including world champion bowler Shayna Ng, silat world champion Shakir Juanda, Paralympic equestrian medallist Laurentia Tan and table tennis player Feng Tianwei, are part of the top tier. Some 66 athletes from 15 sports are in the scheme.

Addressing the athletes, Mr Wong said: "We recognise the commitment and many sacrifices that you need to make in order to excel in sports. Therefore, with the spexScholarship, we hope to give all of you peace of mind to train full-time."