Swimming: SSA launches SGP Fund to enhance its high-performance eco-system

The SGP Fund consists of swimmer Joseph Schooling's mandatory contribution back to the national sports association from his Multi-million Dollar Programme Award cheque.
The SGP Fund consists of swimmer Joseph Schooling's mandatory contribution back to the national sports association from his Multi-million Dollar Programme Award cheque. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The Singapore Swimming Association (SSA) on Friday (June 8) launched a new fund that will enhance its development of high-performance athletes across all its disciplines.

The SGP Fund is armed with an initial $600,000 from two sources - swimmer Joseph Schooling's mandatory contribution back to the national sports association from his $1 million Multi-million Dollar Programme Award cheque, as well as SSA's golf fundraiser in November 2016.

Schooling said: "I'm pleased to have contributed to this great initiative. The SGP Fund is essential for the continuous growth of the aquatic scene as it takes into account the different components that are necessary to develop an eco-system that will help all athletes go further in their career.

"I am fortunate to have had a great support network and I hope more athletes will be given an opportunity to pursue their dreams."

A fund advisory committee - comprising both SSA executive committee members and external parties - was convened between March 2017 and May 2018 to establish the eligibility criteria for the fund.

The SGP Fund benefits primarily high-performance athletes, clubs and affiliates, SSA staff and all registered coaches and technical officials

An athlete, who has at least broken a senior national record in 2017 or 2018, may apply for financial support from the fund, while clubs and affiliates may tap into this war chest for new high-performance initiatives and programmes, but not events.

For example, a 2017 SEA Games medallist or a senior national record-breaker may get up to $15,000, while an Olympic gold medallist or a world champion from 2016 onwards may get up to $70,000.

However, the money from the SGP Fund can be used only for aspects of high-performance development that are not already covered by an existing source of funds, such as the Sports Excellence Scholarship (spexScholarship) or SSA's annual grant.

For example, a swimmer may not use the SGP Fund to cover expenses for an overseas training trip if it is already partially or fully covered by the spexScholarship.

Clubs and affiliates may get up to $15,000 for each initiative or programme.

Interested parties may apply to the SSA secretariat, with the evaluation and approval process taking up to three months.

The public can also donate the the SGP Fund via giving.sg/singapore-swimming-association/sgp_fund or a cheque addressed to the Singapore Swimming Association.