SINGAPORE - Promising young swimmer Sarah Bernard has been awarded the Joseph Schooling Sports Grant by the Eurasian Association.
The 15-year-old Eurasian-Chinese is the second recipient of the $5,000 cash award, which was launched in 2018 by the association and Singapore's Olympic champion Joseph Schooling to support Eurasians in their pursuit of sports and academic excellence.
Track and field athlete Tia Rozario, a graduate of the Singapore Sports School, won the award last year.
Sarah said on Thursday (Feb 27) that it is "an absolute honour to be awarded this prestigious award".
She added: "Joseph Schooling has done so much for Singapore swimming. He has been an inspiration to me and to so many other athletes in Singapore.
"He showed us that as long as you put in your all to achieve your goal, anything is possible."
Sarah, who began swimming competitively when she was six, trains 21/2 hours a day, seven times a week. Her hard work in the pool saw the young swimmer winning her first medal in 2013, after she topped the podium in the 100m breaststroke at the Singapore National Age Group Championships.
The Raffles Girls' School swimmer has since added to her trophy collection with seven gold medals at the Inter-School and national competitions in 2018 and last year. At the 2019 Asean School Games in Semerang, Indonesia, she took home three silver medals.
Outside of swimming, she was also one of the recipients of the Eurasian Community Fund Academic Excellence Award for the Primary School Leaving Examinations in 2018.
"My goal is to be the best student-athlete I can be and I want to be swimming in college and beyond," said Sarah.
"The ultimate goal of most competitive swimmers is to be able to swim in the Olympics, and mine is no different; but I will take one competition at a time and strive to keep improving my times."
Schooling, who is currently training in the United States, sent his congratulations to the swimmer on Thursday. He said: "I hope it will give you the encouragement and the inspiration to keep on going, and to believe in yourself and your dreams."