ITE and adidas sign 5-year deal to develop sports talents

Dr Ang Kiam Wee (left), principal of ITE College Central, and Ng Chee Loon (right), Adidas country manager, ink a five-year ITE-Adidas partnership to groom talented students in sports.
Dr Ang Kiam Wee (left), principal of ITE College Central, and Ng Chee Loon (right), Adidas country manager, ink a five-year ITE-Adidas partnership to groom talented students in sports. PHOTO: ITE

ITE College student Nur Hamimah Hamid thought that her football dreams had been dashed when she was not selected after a trial with Singapore's Under-19 women's football team three years ago.

But now, she has another chance to prove herself.

Yesterday, ITE and adidas Singapore inked a five-year partnership to develop talented students in sports and promote sporting values through community outreach programmes.

To kick-start the programme, the adidas-ITE Football Challenge Cup will be held next month, with players from 80 teams from all three ITE colleges competing for one of 16 spots in the adidas-ITE Super League.

Outstanding players in the Super League will then be hand-picked to join the adidas-ITE Rising Stars team. Funded, coached and equipped by adidas, Rising Stars players with potential will have opportunities to turn professional at S-League clubs. Further details will be announced.

Although women do not play in the S-League, Hamimah, 18, hopes that she can don national colours through the initiative of the sportswear giant. The Year Two visual communication student said: "I hope that through the adidas-ITE Super League, I can get to improve my skills further, or even get a second chance to try out for the national team."

ITE College Central player and 19-year-old marine engineering student Irfan Abdul Rahman added: "I hope to join the Rising Stars team, and then move on to the Prime League or the S-League. It's a chance to shine."

While the focus is on football, there are hopes to expand the programme to include more sports in the future.

"We wanted to do something well first before expanding," said ITE College Central principal Ang Kiam Wee. "So we decided to start with something that our students love a lot - football. Football encompasses the collaboration's strong emphasis on values. It's loved by spectators, and can also promote values beyond the field."

Ng Chee Loon, adidas Singapore's country manager, added: "These students are in their prime, and we want to allow them to be their best."

The adidas-ITE scheme will also appoint 35 students as sports ambassadors to promote sportsmanship to their peers under the mentorship of ITE alumnus Fandi Ahmad.

The former national captain said: "It is a fabulous day for football. This partnership between adidas and ITE ignites a new chapter in the development of youth football in Singapore."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 29, 2016, with the headline 'ITE and adidas sign 5-year deal to develop sports talents'. Print Edition | Subscribe