$50 training grants for national athletes is not only grossly inadequate but also insulting and disrespectful

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By: Jose Raymond
(Republished from Facebook)

There are Singaporean athletes representing the country across various sports who are only receiving $600 a year (or $50 a month on average) as training assistance grants (spexTAG) from government agency Sport Singapore under its High Performance Sports policy. The $600 grant is paid in two disbursements of $300 every six months.

$50 a month on average for our national athletes in training grants is grossly inadequate, insulting and disrespectful.

Two taxi rides in one day may well wipe that measly $50 grant dry.

Our athletes need supplements, proper nutrition, equipment and for some of them, there is a need to rush from school or camp to training in the evenings or vice versa in the mornings. There are also athletes who have to pay part or all of the costs of their overseas stints when they represent the country.

Under Sport Singapore’s current funding mechanism for athletes under its High Performance Sports policy, there are five levels of carding for our national athletes – L1 to L4P. (See image)

Athletes under L1 are those who can excel at the world stage and those under L4 and L4P are the ones who show potential at regional and national levels.

Athletes in L4 receive $600 a year while those in L4P receive no cash disbursements under spexTAG. See full details here:

Source: http://bit.ly/2tYYotC

A Singaporean national athlete who was a Gold medalist at the 2015 SEA Games in Singapore, one of those receiving $600 a year tells me, “It is high time that Sport Singapore change their mentality towards supporting athletes who intend to make sports our career and bring glory to the country.”

I agree with him.

As a result of the gross under-resourcing of our national athletes, senior coaches have informed me of how their charges are thinking of quitting their respective sports at a very young age.

From a sports funding policy perspective, this is unacceptable. Sport should never be just for people who have the financial means to pursue their passion and desire to represent the country.

After Singapore successfully hosted the 2015 SEA Games, then Minister for Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) Lawrence Wong asked: “How can we strengthen our high performance sports system to provide good support, good research, good sports science, good coaching and good resources in sports where we have the potential to do well?”

Current MCCY Minister Grace Fu announced an additional $10 million a year to support elite sports in during the Committee of Supply debates in March, but unfortunately, it certainly looks like there are athletes who need the support who don’t appear to be getting the necessary help.

Don’t keep lamenting about limited resources, but let’s look into effective allocation of limited resources to help make every Singaporean national athlete a winner.


P.S. This post is made in my personal capacity and does not represent the views of the organisations which I am associated with.

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39 comments

  1. Steven Lee says:

    So u all see if Joseph Schooling’s parents had not paid for his training, where got Olympic gold medal ??

    We are paying millions for fools who cannot help but claim credit when the first gold medal came in.

    I think the athletes are sacrificing for a lost cause… not supported and paying their way and time…

  2. This is outrageous, appalling, disgraceful and pathetic.

    Our natural resources are our own citizens.

    This had been parroted by the gov all along to the populace and that is a fact.

    However , from the economic or GDP point of view on the talented and hardworking citizens contributions we ensured that we excel and will put our tiny dot conspicuously on the international scene.

    But, we never demanded and trusted the ministers when they demanded a pay cheque that they require to ensure we are well taken care of and we the citizens relented to your demands.

    Or would say the committee that you appointed to do so , unanimously voted to be such.

    Yet, you used the resources given to you to pay yourselves handsomely and deprived us the dues for our efforts.

    Fuck you!

  3. Jeff Heng says:

    All this organisation that owns by pappies….is very uniform. Pay themselves millions pay Singaporean peanuts to perform!! PAP profit above people.

  4. Where is the special ministerial committee to look into the sad state of our mrt and sports associations jus to name 2 aspects
    In serious need of attention… but the oxley saga ; whole pap machinery out in full force to get what they want….when will it ever end ?

  5. This country is doomed if we carry on like that ….all the various sports associations are in a mess – in fighting and badly organized and run…. back stabbing everywhere … u can read all this in our newspapers…how to achieve anything like that …

  6. 周文伟 says:

    Even the level 1 support of $600 per month is grossly inadequate. Assuming the athletes has no other pay from their clubs or associations.. come on! Seriously need to revamp the whole sports system!

  7. If this is true, than it’s surely the Mother of all insults to every national athlete of Singapore. No reason for IS to be so diplomatic and long windered about this.

  8. David Yeo says:

    $50 (worst than peanut) for athletes and millions $$$ for the ministers. You guys better dont waste your precious time. Better spend your time to excell in your studies and other interest

    1. Unless if you want to work for pap, however if you want to work for Silicon Valley type company, you can go fly kite if you claim you get straight As at A level.

  9. Low Jasper says:

    True. I totally agreed is inadequate
    Peanuts to high potential citizens and goodies for them
    Same as forced keep our saving and million salary to them

  10. Because the garmen only sees Artist and Sports people are second rated citizens no point supporting cause they don’t bring benefit to country and the pockets

  11. 50/day/wk is too little, but for a month is just…can use this to gauge and reduce mp monthly salary since they expect training allowance expenditure can be so cheap.

  12. Ken Lim says:

    Our athletes put us in international standings and they are not sponsored. Our million dollar ministers draw the wrong kind of attention internationally.

  13. This is more pathetic that countries from Qatar that has been Isolated ,it pays its Athletics more than usd2,000 for training grants and is the country rich now the answer is no.

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