SINGAPORE - The One Team Singapore Fund (OTSF) was officially launched on Tuesday (Oct 3) and received its first contributions of $250,000 from running club Tiong Bahru Garden Joggers and Deloitte Singapore while Fullerton Health also donated $250,000, making it a total of $500,000.
The OTSF was announced by the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) in Parliament in March and will see the government match donations up to $50 million, over the next five years from 2017 to 2022.
That could mean a potential $100 million in additional funding for elite sports in Singapore.
It is hoped that the matching OTSF grant will prompt the corporate sector and the public to contribute to the success of national athletes.
The matching grants are divided into three schemes: basic, enhanced and enhanced+.
They are split according to the NSA's (national sports association) high performance vision, the strength of its plans and its executive ability.
The basic scheme is for the NSA with charity status and it supports plans to achieve regional success at major Games, while the enhanced and enhanced+ schemes are for NSAs with IPC (institutions of a public character) status as they plan to succeed at continental and world levels respectively.
Under the basic scheme, the NSA will get up to $80,000 in matched funds for every dollar of donation raised by the NSA.
Under the enhanced and enhanced+ schemes, for subsequent donations beyond the first $80,000, half of that amount will go to a central pool of funds for High Performance Sport System.
The maximum cap of matched funds is $80,000 (basic scheme), $250,000 (enhanced) and $1 million (enhanced+).
For instance, if an NSA applies for the enhanced scheme and raises $420,000, it will receive $80,000 followed by $170,000 in matched funds, while $170,000 goes to the central pool of funds.
The money will support Sport Singapore's High Performance Sports (HPS) system in the areas of competition opportunities, pathway development, coach development, management capability, data analytics, training environment and software, and sports science and medicine.
MCCY minister Grace Fu was on hand at Swissotel The Stamford for the OTSF ceremony to receive the donation from representatives of Tiong Bahru Garden Joggers and Deloitte Singapore.
She said: "Our Team Singapore athletes train hard and make many personal sacrifices to excel in their respective sports, and make Singapore proud. Many Singaporeans are already supporting our athletes in their inspiring journeys toward sporting excellence - our athletes really appreciate the encouragement and support."
SportSG's current annual budget for the HPS is $60 million, which includes funding to the National Sports Associations.
An additional $50 million, announced by Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat during this year's Budget, will be disbursed on top of the existing budget for the HPS system, bringing expenditure to about $70 million a year.
Tiong Bahru Garden Joggers founder Tan Kok Sing, whose club donated $100,000, was thrilled to contribute. He said: "We hope to make a difference and give our athletes more opportunities to achieve their sporting ambitions."
Deloitte Singapore pledged $150,000 to the fund. Philip Yuen, chief executive of Deloitte Southeast Asia and Singapore, said, "Our contribution to the OTSF is a natural extension of our strong partnership with Sport Singapore and our support for the nation's athletes.
"We hope our support can contribute to continued success for these athletes on the international sports stage."
The event also celebrated the Republic's achievements at the recent SEA Games and Asean Para Games held in Kuala Lumpur.
Singapore won 57 SEA Games golds in Malaysia, a record haul from an away SEA Games. The nation won 50 medals (nine golds, 17 silvers, 24 bronzes) at the APG in September, the largest medal tally from an overseas APG.