Win the catalyst for Ulu Pandan's Olympic Values fund

It took less than 12 hours for Joseph Schooling's Olympic victory to inspire some Singaporeans to promote Olympic values here.

More than 2,000 guests - consisting of Ulu Pandan grassroots leaders, community leaders and residents - relived Schooling's 50.39sec 100m butterfly victory when they watched a replay at a National Day dinner at Ghim Moh on Saturday.

That sparked discussions minutes later and in a fit of spontaneity, one dinner table decided to kick-start the Olympic Values Fund in the light of the 21-year-old's success in Rio.

Mr Christopher de Souza, a Member of Parliament for Holland-Bukit Timah GRC announced the fund's set-up at the dinner after tycoon Sam Goi, chairman of the Ulu Pandan Citizens' Consultative Committee (CCC), pledged $500,000 - on behalf of the Ulu Pandan Community Club Management Committee.

  • $500,000

  • Sam Goi, chairman of the Ulu Pandan CCC, pledged this amount to the Olympic Values Fund, which residents can use on community programmes and efforts.

The Olympic Values Fund aims to reflect the character and fortitude shown by Schooling, and also the rest of the Team Singapore athletes. It is designed to encourage Ulu Pandan residents to initiate noble causes to improve community relations.

The money will be administered by the Ulu Pandan Community Club, and anyone under the age of 30 can apply to use it to start any initiative or programme that aids the community, as long as they reflect an Olympic value - such as friendship, respect and excellence.

Goi, who has a net worth of $1.9 billion, said: "What I want to see achieved through this fund is for more young people to be active in community efforts.

"Usually at the community club or grassroots events, you only see the elderly while the youth are hard to find. I hope now, with the fund's half-a-million dollar pledge, they will be more proactive in engaging Ulu Pandan and do something positive."

The former Singapore Badminton Association and Singapore Table Tennis Association vice-chairman also commended Schooling.

The 67-year-old said: "I never thought I would see the day when Majulah Singapura would be played in the Olympics. It's an indescribable feeling.

"As a Singaporean, I'm very proud of Schooling and what he has done for the country. He really has inspired us and hopefully, the young generation look up to him and go on to do great things."

Mr de Souza added: "We wish to continue on from Schooling's incredible feat, which truly inspired us all.

"Things like mentorship, generosity and helping the vulnerable - these are great values to instill in oneself. This fund will allow residents from our community to come up with great ideas and positive initiatives.

"They could be a sports carnival day, an inter-community event or even a series of measures to engage the elderly - showing Olympic values does not necessarily have to come through sport."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 15, 2016, with the headline 'Win the catalyst for Ulu Pandan's Olympic Values fund'. Print Edition | Subscribe