SINGAPORE - Nineteen athletes from eight sports and two para sports received the Sports Excellence Scholarship (spexScholarship) on Wednesday (March 20) evening from Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu, at the Celebrate What's Right event at the Swissotel The Stamford.
The new faces bring the total number of spexScholars to 73 across 15 sports and seven para sports in 2019.
Among them are 18-year-old fencer Maxine Wong, a member of the national women's junior foil team that won a historic gold at the Asian Junior and Cadet Championships earlier in the month, and shuttler Loh Kean Yew, 21, who grabbed headlines after defeating Chinese great Lin Dan in January.
Contessa Loh, 24, is the first able-bodied archer to receive a spexScholarship.
Also, nine new partner organisations were welcomed into the spexBusiness and spexEducation network, which aims to offer support to Team Singapore athletes through the provision of job and education opportunities with flexible arrangements.
The network now has a total of 61 organisations and 13 institutes of higher learning aiding more than 250 athletes and 400 student-athletes.
Said Minister Fu: "Sporting excellence is achieved through the collective effort of all parties in the ecosystem.
"It takes into account the ability of our athletes, but also the support from their families, coaches, sports professionals as well as our spexBusiness and spexEducation partners.
"Together, we enable our athletes to perform at their very best."
Kon Yin Tong, chairman of the spexScholarship Selection Committee, added:"My congratulations to our new spexScholars who have displayed passion, discipline and sacrifice in their sporting endeavours to earn the scholarship.
"This is just the first step and they will require similar or greater desire and intensity to remain on the programme.
"They have shown plenty of promise so far and we hope that the additional support will give them the push needed to succeed at the highest level.
"I look forward to seeing our athletes becoming an inspiration to younger Singaporeans."