Eight Singaporean student-athletes got a chance to meet Joseph Schooling yesterday, a day after he won a bronze medal in the 100m butterfly at the swimming World Championships in Budapest.
The youths, aged 15 to 23, were selected for the fully sponsored trip to the Hungarian capital under Lifting Dreams, a new initiative started by Singapore's non-resident ambassador to Hungary Ng Shin Ein, who had hoped that the trip would inspire the youngsters, especially those from low-income or less-accomplished families.
They joined Ms Ng, Schooling and his parents Colin and May at the city's Parliament House for an hour-long private tour and also met Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Hungary, Istvan Jakab.
The youths later had dinner with the Olympic champion. They had also received tickets to watch his race on Saturday.
It was Hanisa Karim's first trip to Europe and the 16-year-old Gan Eng Seng School student was thrilled.
She said: "Getting to watch Joseph race was really special. We were all nervous for him."