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$3m for youth

Nestle Milo backs sports development. -ST

Mon, Feb 22, 2010
The Straits Times

By Terrence Voon

NATIONAL sailor Terence Choo wants to reach for the sky at the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) and the Byte CII World Championships in France this year.

Thanks to a record youth sports sponsorship announced by Nestle Milo yesterday, his dreams - as well as those of other budding young athletes in Singapore - are a step closer to reality.

Under the year-long sponsorship inked yesterday between the Singapore Sports Council (SSC) and Milo, more than $3 million will be injected into youth sports development.

The amount is the largest corporate contribution received by the SSC.

About $1.5 million will be given directly to the SSC - of which $200,000 will be disbursed to athletes and national sports associations (NSAs) competing in the 26 Olympic disciplines.

Said Terence, 15: 'What Milo has done will provide more funding for our NSA, which will allow us to go for more overseas competitions and training.

'This is a key factor to winning the YOG, because many sailors come from overseas and we need to familiarise ourselves with other competitors.'

Milo's sponsorship will also fund 'satellite centres' for each of the Olympic sports.

Details will be announced when the centres are launched in May, but it is understood that these are aimed at encouraging youngsters to pick up sports.

Other plans in the pipeline: A cheer competition to rally Singaporeans behind their athletes at the major Games this year and the premiere of an eight-hour reality sports programme on television in May featuring young contestants.

Sports events targeted at the young will also be organised - like a youth triathlon to be held at Sentosa next month.

Speaking at yesterday's signing ceremony at Sengkang Primary School, Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports Vivian Balakrishnan paid tribute to Milo's contribution.

'I hope that more companies will follow in (Milo's) footsteps and understand that sports is a ready-made vehicle to build brand recognition and brand equity and long-term relationships,' he said.

'I think it will be a win-win outcome for both sports and business.'

The new sponsorship is Milo's largest one-time investment in local sports.

It has supported athletics, basketball, football, swimming and school sports since the 1950s.

This article was first published in The Straits Times.

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