Lim to fund RI's mini rugby academy

Besides pumping millions into scholarships for needy students through the Singapore Olympic Foundation, local tycoon Peter Lim is now also giving back to his alma mater.

The billionaire has pledged a six-figure sum over two years to the Raffles Rugby Union (RRU)'s mini rugby academy, a programme started in 2010 to introduce the sport to primary school boys who do not have easy access to the game.

The sum will go towards helping to fund coaching and equipment, as well as subsidising fees for students.

Said Lim, who graduated in the class of 1972: "I think the union has a good programme going. As with all demanding sports, rugby is not only fun, but also a very powerful character-building tool.

"I believe RRU's mini rugby programme can really benefit the boys it's reaching out to, so I hope that more boys, regardless of which primary schools they come from, will join the programme."

The RRU, founded by Raffles Institution (RI) alumni, will name the programme after the former RI boy in honour of his support.

There are about 60 boys in the programme. They train under four coaches on Sundays at RI.

Said Rajoo Amurdalingam, RRU's founding president: "There are several privately-run mini rugby clubs in Singapore, but this programme helps us to reach out to children from all backgrounds, including those who are interested but do not have access to the sport in their schools."

Year 2 RI student Ian Cheng has benefited first-hand from the programme, having been part of it from 2010 to 2011.

Said the 14-year-old, now a member of the RI rugby team: "The mini rugby programme was quite an enriching experience for me. As a newbie to the sport when I first joined, it gave me a good introduction to the sport and nurtured my interest in it."

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