Use funds for rewarding athletes to help needy instead

Use funds for rewarding athletes to help needy instead

SINGAPORE - I refer to recent reports on swimmer Joseph Schooling's wins at the Asian Games in South Korea.

I am a proud citizen of Singapore. But it pains my heart to hear foreigners commenting that we bought our medals, and this isn't merely the result of us welcoming foreign talent through our Foreign Sports Talent Scheme.

There is also the question of the Multi-Million Dollar Award Programme.

Arguments for and against these initiatives have been repeatedly put forth by the public, and both sides have their merits.

My point, though, is that the hundreds of thousands of award money that individual sportsmen like Schooling have won could have been put to better use by local charitable organisations, like the Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund, to help fund needy students' schooling requirements.

This beats hearing the national anthem being played during a medal ceremony.

I want our athletes to do well, and we can help them by providing the world-class facilities they require to train in. However, it should not be at the expense of the less privileged members of our society.

Oliver Guo Shengnan

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