A total of 66 athletes from 15 sports have become the first batch of sportsmen and sportswomen to receive the Sports Excellence Scholarship (spexScholarship), while a further 26 athletes from nine sports have been shortlisted as potential future scholars.
Among the most notable names announced on Tuesday: swimmers Joseph Schooling and Tao Li, equestrian Paralympic medallist Laurentia Tan, and table tennis player Feng Tianwei. They were selected from 218 nominations across 28 sports that the Singapore Sports Institute received from April.
The spexScholarship was announced in March as part of a revised High Performance Sports (HPS) scheme, designed to be an inclusive system that provides provide enhanced support for both able-bodied and disabled local athletes who show potential for international sporting achievements.
Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong, who is also chairman of the HPS Steering Committee, said during the announcement at Marina Bay: "The spexScholarship will provide the selected Team Singapore athletes with an enhanced level of support to enable them to fully realise their aspirations and their competitive potential. With the introduction of the spexScholarship, we hope to see more Singaporean athletes focus on the full-time pursuit of sport excellence."