Tao and Schooling get $20k and $40k from ex-BAS V-P for SEA Games efforts

Former Basketball Association of Singapore vice-president Pang Chin Keong had earlier promised to reward any Singapore athlete who wins four or more gold medals at last month's SEA Games. He presented Tao Li's mother, Li Yan (left) with a cheque of $
Former Basketball Association of Singapore vice-president Pang Chin Keong had earlier promised to reward any Singapore athlete who wins four or more gold medals at last month's SEA Games. He presented Tao Li's mother, Li Yan (left) with a cheque of $20, 000 and Joseph Schooling's mother, May (right) with a cheque of $40, 000. -- ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

SINGAPORE swimmers Tao Li and Joseph Schooling were further rewarded on Thursday afternoon for their efforts at last month's SEA Games.

Last April, former Basketball Association of Singapore vice-president Pang Chin Keong pledged to reward athletes $20,000 for each gold medal, from their fourth gold medal onwards.

Tao, 24, bagged four golds and one bronze in Myanmar, while Schooling, 18, won five golds and one silver.

Tao's mother Li Yan and Schooling's mother May received the $20,000 and $40,000 cheques from Pang at Imperial Treasure restaurant at the Paragon. Tao is currently training in China, while Schooling is back at Bolles School in Florida.

This award comes on top of the cash rewards that the duo will receive under the Singapore National Olympic Council's (SNOC) Singapore Multi-million Dollar Award Programme (MAP). The MAP rewards athletes up to their third gold medals - athletes get $10,000 for their first gold medal, and $5,000 each for their second and third gold medals.

Last Saturday, the duo were also rewarded by Singapore Swimming Association (SSA) for their exploits in the pool. Under the SSA awards, aquatics sports athletes get $1,000 for their fourth gold medal onwards, $750 for silver, and $500 for bronze.

Pang, a businessman, said: "I want the athletes to know that Singaporeans are supporting their efforts. They are doing our country proud, and all I want is for them to win more gold medals for Singapore.

"Nothing beats the feeling of hearing the national anthem playing and seeing our flag raised during the victory ceremony."

May Schooling said: "I'm surprised and really touched by Mr Pang's gesture. It's good to know that there are people who believe in our athletes, and who appreciate them putting in the hours to train and do Singapore proud."