SINGAPORE - Next year's South-east Asia (SEA) Games, the 28th, received its single biggest boost in funding, exactly 12 months before the curtains go up on the sporting event at the Sports Hub.
Singapore's biggest retailer, NTUC FairPrice, and FairPrice Foundation, will plough $5 million into the games, which will be staged here next June.
The organisation's chairman, Ng Ser Miang, says that the sponsorship is in line with FairPrice values of "inculcating a healthy lifestyle among Singaporeans".
"We believe in the value of sports, and that it can help us to connect emotionally with Singaporeans and our customers," he said.
Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong was also present to witness the handing over of the cheque at FairPrice Xtra in Serangoon nex yesterday.
Mr Ng said the sponsorship includes $2 million cash and $3 million in kind, which will range from bottled water and food stuff that can be found in FairPrice outlets.
This sum is part of a $50-million target that SEA Games organisers are "very optimistic" to hit on time, said Mr Richard Seow, chairman of the Sponsorship and Marketing Advisory Sub-committee of the SEA Games Organising Committee.
"Conversations (with other corporations) are going very well... and it's achievable," he said.
The SEA Games sponsorship is also FairPrice's biggest to Singapore sports.
But pitching in goes beyond money, said Mr Ng. "We also want to go into community engagement and to motivate Singaporeans to support the games."
Mr Seow said that organisers are also getting more hands on by roping in more volunteers. He said they will be an "exciting part of the SEA Games". "Many are already stepping forward and getting trained."
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