Swimming: More than $100,000 raised for the Schooling Sports Academy

The Schoolings accepting a corporate sponsor donation of $25,000 from Group Managing Director of Krislite Jimmy Teo to the the Joseph Schooling Academy.
The Schoolings accepting a corporate sponsor donation of $25,000 from Group Managing Director of Krislite Jimmy Teo to the the Joseph Schooling Academy.PHOTO: DON WONG FOR ST

SINGAPORE - The Schooling Sports Academy, which bears the family name of Olympic champion Joseph Schooling, has secured its first corporate sponsor, with lighting company Krislite donating $25,000 yesterday.

More than $100,000 was raised by the end of the fundraiser.

The family are still in the midst of drafting plans for the academy, according Joseph's mother, May, and are targeting the later part of this year for the full unveiling.

"We need guidance to run this properly. For example, we need a very good board, to decide on the criteria for which children deserve places," said Mrs Schooling.

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The idea for a sports academy was first mooted in March by Schooling's parents, May and Colin, with initial plans to launch a swim school.

Singapore's most successful swimmer on the world stage is also looking to get more involved from next March onward, after his National Collegiate Athletic Association commitments come to an end.

Said Joseph: "I don't want to limit myself to just one role. I can do swim clinics with the kids, talk to them to inspire them, tell them I've been through a tough road as well."

Two FINA swim caps autographed by Schooling went for $5,000 each yesterday at Krislite's office in Loyang, while a glass sculpture called "the Waves", handcrafted in honour of Schooling's historic gold medal win in the 100m butterfly at the Rio Olympics was sold for $50,000.

A pair of guests were also invited to take part in a fundraising challenge with Schooling, playing minigolf or table futsal and donating $1,000 apiece.

The 22-year-old returned home on Tuesday following a "disappointing" outing at the World Championships, where he won a bronze for the 100m fly.

He is taking part in six events at the SEA Games, including the 50m and 100m fly, and is targeting victory in all six.

"Winning (them all), that's always been my personal expectation. I'm going to do my best to win, to help Singapore out," said Schooling.

"I've never felt this motivated to get back to training this soon after a meet. This drive and fire, I haven't felt this since I was chasing the goal at the (2016) Olympics.

"Now I've gotten beat, and I don't ever want to feel like that again."