Vision underpins new fund

Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu with (from left) national para athletes - paddler Jason Chee, footballer Jeremiah Tan and powerlifters Nur Aini Mohamad Yasli and Kalai Vanen. She urged Singaporeans to back the local sportsmen and w
Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu with (from left) national para athletes - paddler Jason Chee, footballer Jeremiah Tan and powerlifters Nur Aini Mohamad Yasli and Kalai Vanen. She urged Singaporeans to back the local sportsmen and women as they "train hard and make many personal sacrifices to excel in their respective sports".ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

It encourages firms and Singaporeans to support efforts to boost elite sport here

Singapore Taekwondo Federation (STF) president Milan Kwee wants to raise the standard of the sport here.

But a relatively low-profile national sports association (NSA) like his does not enjoy deep pockets, not enough to support additional costs such as hiring more and better coaches, and purchasing quality equipment which could cost about $100,000.

He said: "We are considering bringing in a world-class coach but they are expensive to hire. Many years ago, we even had to turn down an Iranian coach who wanted to join us.

"We're now looking at another avenue where we can have more funds, we've just got to work harder."

The good news for Kwee, who was Singapore's chef de mission at the recent SEA Games, is that the STF's fund-raising efforts can now be multiplied through the new One Team Singapore Fund (OTSF) which was launched last night.

The fund was announced by the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) in March, and it will match sports donations up to $50 million from 2017 to 2022.

That could mean a potential $100 million in additional funding for elite sports in Singapore.

  • HOW THE FUNDING WORKS (PER FINANCIAL YEAR)

  • BASIC SCHEME Funding capped at: $80,000 High-performance vision: To achieve regional success at major Games and significant competitions.

    Strength of high-performance plan: Athletes' development pathway (encompassing national programmes).


    ENHANCED SCHEME Funding capped at: $250,000 High-performance vision: To achieve continental success at major Games and significant competitions.

    Strength of high-performance plan: Multi-year development and resourcing plan in agreement with SportSG; demonstrated ability to produce success at continental level.


    ENHANCED+ SCHEME Funding capped at: $1 million High-performance vision: To achieve world success at major Games and significant competitions.

    Strength of high-performance plan: Comprehensive multi-year development and resourcing plan in agreement with SportSG; demonstrated ability to produce success at world level.

    Note: To qualify for all three schemes, NSAs must show they have leadership capability and governance structure to implement and execute their high-performance plans to the schemes' respective levels. For the two enhanced schemes, the NSAs must also establish a joint management committee with the Singapore Sports Institute to administer the HPS plans.

The money will go towards high performance, in areas such as competition opportunities, coaching development, management capability, data analytics, training environment and software, and sports science and medicine.

It seeks to get Singaporeans - be it the man in the street or the financiers on Shenton Way - behind the nation's athletes, increasing the level of support for the High Performance Sport (HPS) system.

Any NSA with Charity and Institutions of Public Character (IPC) status can apply for dollar-for-dollar matching grants for donations raised. There is no minimum amount needed for a donation.

Donors can decide to give the money directly to a sport of their choice or to the fund, which will go into a common pool.

There are three schemes for the matching grants based on an NSA's high-performance plan, vision and ability to execute the plans - Basic, Enhanced and Enhanced+.

The Basic scheme is for NSAs with charity status and it supports plans to achieve regional success at major Games. The Enhanced and Enhanced+ schemes are for NSAs with IPC status, as they plan to succeed at continental and world levels respectively.

Under the Basic scheme, the NSA will get up to $80,000 in matched funds for every dollar of donation raised by the NSA.

Under the Enhanced and Enhanced+ schemes, for subsequent donations beyond the first $80,000, half of that amount will go into a central pool of funds for the HPS system.

The cap on matched funds is $80,000 (Basic), $250,000 (Enhanced) and $1 million (Enhanced+) per financial year.

For instance, if an NSA applies for the Enhanced scheme and raises $420,000, it will receive $80,000 followed by $170,000 in matched funds, while $170,000 goes to the central pool of funds.

Singapore Athletics president Ho Mun Cheong said the scheme encourages NSAs to work harder to get more donations.

He said: "We'll try to raise more money and persuade more people to donate to us for the benefit of the athletes.

"If through this scheme, it brings in enough money, we can offer scholarship for athletes who can study and train overseas."

 

The fund received its first three donations yesterday. Running club Tiong Bahru Garden Joggers donated $100,000, Deloitte Singapore $150,000 and Fullerton Health contributed $250,000.

They presented their cheques last night at Swissotel the Stamford to MCCY minister Grace Fu at the Celebrate the Extraordinary event to mark Singapore's achievements at the recent SEA and Asean Para Games.

The event was attended by more than 100 corporate representatives from firms and 80 Team Singapore athletes.

Ms Fu urged Singaporeans to back the nation's sportsmen. She said: "Our Team Singapore athletes train hard and make many personal sacrifices to excel in their respective sports, and make Singapore proud...

"With the launch of the One Team Singapore Fund, all of us - from individuals to businesses and organisations - can make a donation to support our athletes in High Performance Sports."

National swimmer Amanda Lim values the support given to athletes. She said: "It's time for companies to know we are worthy of investment.

"The thought of them coming forward to invest in us, it makes us feel worthy and we want to strive harder. It's encouraging."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 04, 2017, with the headline 'Vision underpins new fund'. Print Edition | Subscribe