Sports: Team Singapore athletes get more career options

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean; Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, Ms Grace Fu; and Singapore chef-de-mission for the 8th Asean Para Games, Mr Raja Singh (front row, third from left), joining Singapore athletes and officials at the One T
Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean; Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, Ms Grace Fu; and Singapore chef-de-mission for the 8th Asean Para Games, Mr Raja Singh (front row, third from left), joining Singapore athletes and officials at the One Team Singapore Rally held at the Marina Bay on Nov 14, 2015.PHOTO: BERITA HARIAN

SINGAPORE - Local athletes thinking about life after sport received a boost as the Sports Excellence Business (spexBusiness) scheme unveiled nine new partners at an event on Friday (Feb 17).

The initiative links Team Singapore athletes with prospective employers for full-time jobs or internship stints. The spexBusiness network now boasts 39 partners from 22 industries.

In addition, three institutes of higher learning have joined the Sports Excellent Education (spexEducation) programme, which aims to offer life coaching and academic flexibility to student-athletes.

Former shuttler and 2014 Commonwealth Games silver medallist Derek Wong and taekwondo exponent Chelsea Ann Sim are among those who secured job placements from spexBusiness.

Wong is now an audit junior associate with Deloitte while Sim secured an internship with Osim International. They are among the 90 Team Singapore athletes and 400 student-athletes who have benefited from the two schemes.

The event, dubbed "Celebrate What's Right with spexEducation and spexBusines", was held at the Parkroyal on Beach Road hotel. Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu was the guest of honour at the event which was also attended by national athletes Jazreel Tan (bowling), Dipna Lim-Prasad (athletics) and Sheik Farhan Sheik Alau'ddin (silat).

Ms Fu hailed the partners of both initiatives and said: "(Team Singapore athletes) can devote their time and energy to train, knowing that their career and educational aspirations are being supported by you. With the expanded network, we will be able to support even more athletes in their pursuit of sporting excellence."

At the event, it was also announced that the Singapore Sports Institute (SSI) has partnered local tech start-up Jobook to launch the spexBusiness application. The free app, available on iOS and Android, streamlines the job application process.

SSI is also collaborating with the Employment and Employability Institute (e21) to launch the SSI-e2i Career Coaching Network, which will provide career coaching to Team Singapore athletes and help them plan for life after sport.