Swimming: Schooling inspires Ulu Pandan residents to set up Olympic Values Fund

Joseph Schooling with his gold medal from the Rio 2016 Olympic Games men's 100m butterfly final at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on Aug 12, 2016.
Joseph Schooling with his gold medal from the Rio 2016 Olympic Games men's 100m butterfly final at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on Aug 12, 2016. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE - Less than a day after his Olympic gold medal win, Joseph Schooling has already inspired the Ulu Pandan community to promote the Olympic values among themselves and foster the human spirit.

Over 2,000 guests - consisting Ulu Pandan grassroots leaders, community leaders and the residents - relived Schooling's 50.39sec 100m butterfly final victory when they watched it again at a National Day dinner reception at Ghim Moh on Saturday (Aug 13).

Mere minutes after that and in a fit of spontaneity, one dinner table decided to kick-start the Olympic Values Fund in light of the 21-year-old's success on the world stage.

Member of Parliament Christopher de Souza announced the setting up of the fund on the night itself after tycoon Sam Goi, chairman of the Ulu Pandan Citizens' Consultative Committee, pledged half a million dollars on behalf of the Ulu Pandan Community Club Management Committee.

The Olympic Values Fund is designed to tap on the character and fortitude shown by Schooling and also the rest of the Team Singapore athletes. The money will be administered by the Ulu Pandan CC, and anyone under the age of 30 is open to use it to start any initiative or programme that aids the community, as long as it reflects an Olympic value.

Mr de Souza, an MP in Holland-Bukit Timah Group Representation Constituency, said: "We wish to continue on from Schooling's incredible feat, which truly inspired us all. Through this fund, we hope to see the Ulu Pandan community display the Olympic values and realise the importance of certain aspects which can be applied outside of sport.

"Things like mentorship, generosity and helping the vulnerable - these are great values to instill in oneself. This fund will allow residents from our community to come up with great ideas and positive initiatives.

"They could be a sports carnival day, an inter-community event or even a series of measures to engage the elderly - showing Olympic values doe not necessarily have to come through sport."