A group of about 10 of Singapore's best athletes are now part of a ground-breaking $90,000 club, after being selected for the top tier of the inaugural Sports Excellence Scholarship (spexScholarship).
The amount - the median annual stipend awarded - is the highest ever handed out to national athletes and is more than double the monetary support top athletes previously received.
The Straits Times understands that world No. 4 paddler and Olympic medallist Feng Tianwei, world champions Shayna Ng (bowling) and Shakir Juanda (silat) as well as four-time Paralympic equestrian medallist Laurentia Tan are in this elite group.
They are among the 66 athletes across 15 sports announced by the Singapore Sports Council yesterday
. The scholarship, backed by a $40 million war chest over five years, is part of a revised High Performance Sports (HPS) scheme.
The aim of the added investment is to provide Singapore's finest with the tools to do the country proud, said Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong yesterday. It comes at a time when Singapore athletes have been winning regularly at the Asian and Olympic level.
"Overall, we want to be among the top few sporting nations in Asia," Mr Wong told reporters at Marina Bay, where he spent a day out sailing with national athletes.