New fund to aid high-performance athletes

The Singapore Swimming Association (SSA) launched a new fund yesterday that will enhance its development of high-performance athletes across all its disciplines.

The SGP Fund is armed with an initial $600,000 from two sources - Olympic swimming champion Joseph Schooling's mandatory contribution back to the national sports association from his $1 million Multi-Million Dollar Programme Award cheque, as well as SSA's golf fundraiser in 2016.

The SGP Fund benefits primarily these groups:

•High-performance athletes

•Clubs and affiliates

•SSA staff, all registered coaches and technical officials

An athlete who has at least broken a senior national record in these two years may apply for financial support from the fund, while clubs and affiliates may tap into this war chest for new high-performance initiatives and programmes, but not events.

For example, a 2017 SEA Games medallist or a senior national record-breaker may get up to $15,000, while an Olympic gold medallist or a world champion from 2016 onwards may get up to $70,000.

However, the money from the SGP Fund can be used only for aspects of high-performance development that are not already covered by an existing source of funds, such as the Sports Excellence Scholarship (spexScholarship) or SSA's annual government grant.

For example, a swimmer may not use the SGP Fund to cover expenses for an overseas training trip if it is already partially or fully covered by the spexScholarship.

Clubs and affiliates may get up to $15,000 for each initiative or programme.

AquaTech Swimming (ATS) head coach Richard Chng said the new initiative is "very good" as it benefits not just the swimmers but also the clubs and affiliates.

The former national swimmer said: "From ATS' perspective - and I am sure other affiliates will tap on this too - we can tap on this fund for the development of our coaches."

Interested parties may apply to the SSA secretariat, with the evaluation and approval process taking up to three months.

•To donate to SGP Fund: or a cheque addressed to the SSA

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 09, 2018, with the headline 'New fund to aid high-performance athletes'. Print Edition | Subscribe