SpexScholarships awarded to 18 national athletes

An additional 18 national athletes were added to the list of Sports Excellence Scholarship (spexScholarship) on Tuesday.

Among the second batch of Singaporeans to benefit from the national support scheme are Dinah Chan (cycling), Brandon Ooi (canoeing), Nur Marina Chan (swimming), Isabelle Li (table tennis), Theresa Goh and Yip Pin Xiu (disability sports - swimming).

They received their scholarships, which was launched last year and backed by a $40 million war chest over five years, from Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong.

Mr Wong is also the chairman of the High Performance Sports (HPS) steering committee.

The initiative is part of the revised HPS scheme aimed at supporting talented athletes with the potential to win medals at Asian, world and Olympic levels.

An inaugural batch of 61 athletes were identified in September 2013 and received stipends and other forms of assistance from the Singapore Sports Institute.

Athletes identified for the top tier of support stand to receive up to $100,000, the median annual stipend awarded for those with potential to compete at the highest stage.

Olympic medallist paddler Feng Tianwei, former world champions Shayna Ng (bowling) and Shakir Juanda (silat), as well as four-time Paralympic equestrian medallist Laurentia Tan, are in this elite group

With seven spexScholars exiting the programme at the end of this month and gymnast Joey Tam retiring from the sport, the current total will be 71 athletes across 15 sports, including badminton, sailing, fencing, golf and waterskiing.

It was also announced at the ceremony at the Singapore Sports Hub's Black Box auditorium that each of the 71 spexScholars will receive a bespoke series of recovery wear from Swiss sports apparel manufacturers X-Bionic next February.