Swimmer's family shares Grab prize with 2 others

Singapore swimmer Joseph Schooling and his family yesterday shared a $20,000 gift from ride-hailing service Grab with blind masseur Ismail Akbar Abdullah and Singapore para-swimmer Benson Tan, 25.

Grab had offered $20,000 worth of free rides to the Schoolings after Schooling won a historic gold at the recent Rio Olympics.

Both Mr Ismail and Mr Tan will receive $7,300 worth of free rides each. The remainder will go to his parents, May and Colin.

Schooling said: "When I was told of this offer, I wanted to share it with someone who needs it more."

Grab's head of marketing (Singapore) Ershad Ahamed said: "We are fully supportive of Joseph's decision and look forward to serving Uncle Abdullah and Benson and playing a role in making their daily commute more fuss-free, convenient and comfortable."

Mr Ismail, 62, commutes six days a week from his home in Spooner Road to Bedok North. Each trip ranges from $14 to $18, depending on surcharges.

He said: "I'm very happy he shared the gift with me. I followed his results closely, listening to the radio and news during the Olympics. He really did Singapore proud. I hope to meet him and thank him personally."

For four days a week, Mr Tan travels from his Pasir Ris home to Anglo-Chinese School (Barker Road) for training, and then to Kallang Wave Mall, where he is a part-time sales assistant. After work, he heads back to Barker Road for training before going home.

His mother Mimi, 65, said: "We're really surprised and thankful that Joseph chose to share this with us. Usually Benson will take the bus and train, and I'm happy that he can now come home earlier for dinner."

Chua Siang Yee

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 01, 2016, with the headline 'Swimmer's family shares Grab prize with 2 others'. Print Edition | Subscribe