Team Singapore athletes get support in setting up own businesses

Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu at the launch of the new initiative.
Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu at the launch of the new initiative.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

Team Singapore athletes will have more opportunities to thrive outside the sporting arena as the Sports Excellence Business Network (spexBusiness) rolled out fresh initiatives to support their transition into life after sports.

The new spexEntrepreneurship programme will offer athletes access to mentorship and resources to set up their own businesses. This includes matching athletes with appropriate entrepreneurs for one-on-one coaching sessions and providing subsidised office space rental.

Star swimmer Tao Li, who recently launched her own swim school, praised the initiative, which was launched by Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu on Wednesday.

"We get to acquire business skills, for example in writing business plans," said Tao, 26, a two-time Asian Games gold medallist. "I hope to meet up with different kinds of entrepreneurs through networking opportunities and learn from their guidance."

A first-of-its-kind Team Singapore Card was also rolled out, offering discounts and incentives for athletes at retail outlets around the Sports Hub in Kallang.

spexBusiness also welcomed nine more companies - including sportswear giant adidas and supermarket chain NTUC Fairprice - into its fold, which stands at 30 firms from 19 industries.

A total of 62 Team Singapore athletes have been recruited by spexBusiness partner companies either on internships, apprenticeships, part-time or full-time employment.

Sport Singapore CEO Lim Teck Yin said: "Athlete development and support goes beyond their training and the provision of sports science and medicine support services. Holistic development of athletes should also take into consideration their successful transition into post-sports careers."