SINGAPORE - National sailor Olivia Chen's bid to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics received a boost on Tuesday (Oct 3) with the announcement that she will receive financial support from the Chiam See Tong Sports Foundation.
The 22-year-old is a former goal shooter and goal attack in the national 21-and-under netball team but late last year switched to sailing and now partners Griselda Khng, who represented Singapore at the Rio Olympics, in the 49erFX class.
Chen will get $3,000 this year and qualifies for another $3,000 in January. The fund was launched in March to help aspiring local athletes achieve their sporting dreams
Both Chen and Khng are trying to qualify for next year's Asian Games in Indonesia and the 2020 Olympics.
Khng, 26, is a former world Optimist champion and a 2012 bronze medallist at the 420 World Championships.
The self-funded duo even turned to crowdfunding for their training stints in Europe and Australia. It is estimated that they will need about $200,000 to fund their training campaign over the next two years.
They leave for Australia to resume their training on Wednesday.
Chen said: "We are thankful to the Chiam See Tong Sports Foundation for understanding our battles, and for giving us a bit of support to help us along.
"The journey of an athlete is sometimes a lonely one, and it is important for us to get help as we embark on our journey towards achieving success. We do hope that we will have other sponsors who will come forward to support our journey."
Ang Peng Siong, the Foundation's chairman of the board, added: "Sports is one way to rally a nation together under one flag, regardless of our backgrounds. Our athletes need to be supported, to help them reach their goals and targets.
"While we are more than happy to support Olivia and Griselda, the reality is they will need a lot more support and assistance."