Push for gold starts next month

Push for gold starts next month

The $40 million Sports Excellence Scholarship (spexScholarship) programme may kick in next month with "three or four" of the 15 sports involved.

This was revealed by Singapore Sports Institute (SSI) executive director Fabian Lim on the sidelines of the scholarship's award ceremony at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Wednesday.

Lim, who declined to revealed which sports will be the first to start the programme, said: "In the last two months or so, the SSI has been working very closely with the 15 NSAs (national sports associations) to pull the programmes together.

"This means identifying the coaches, looking at competition schedules and training plans, setting the targets, the kind of equipment and facilities and the sports science support that we need to wrap around them and so on."

Lim added that some sports have requested to start their programmes after the South-east Asia Games in Myanmar next month, while some athletes are still making arrangements in their workplace or with their schools.

In September, 66 athletes across 15 sports were awarded a spexScholarship. The athletes will receive annual amounts of $24,000 (SEA Games or equivalent), $60,000 (Asian Games or equivalent) or $90,000 for (Olympic Games or equivalent) to help them train full time.

In addition, 26 athletes from nine sports who have demonstrated potential to progress to the level of spexScholars were identified for targeted support.

Athletes have until February next year to sign on to the programme.

Singapore Table Tennis Association president Lee Bee Wah said last Sunday that they had already spent most of their budget for high performance, with the fiscal year ending only in March next year.

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