By: Howard Lee
To help young and under-resourced sporting talents fulfil their dreams, so that no one is left behind.
That will be the aim of the newly formed Chiam See Tong Sports Foundation, founded by veteran opposition politician Mr Chiam See Tong and launched at the Old Parliament House on 9 March 2017 to a close group of partners, friends and media.
The vision of the Foundation was shared by its chairman, celebrated swimming hero Ang Peng Siong.
In his opening speech, Mr Ang recounted the time where Mr Chiam, patron in chief of the Foundation, was coached by Mr Ang’s father, when he was helping swimmers who could not afford to pay their training fees.
Mr Ang recounted when Mr Chiam was an avid swimmer and badminton player in his youth, and quoted from a speech by the former statesman in Parliament in support of greater investment in sports.
“Sports has many benefits,” Mr Chiam had said. “Sports build courage, character of a person. It teaches fair play. It teaches the right spirit and cooperation with one another.”
The launch event also played host to the first beneficiaries of the Foundation – a young soccer team from Jalan Kukoh named “Pekik”, who each received a pair of soccer boots from Mr Chiam.
The Foundation currently runs on seed funding from Mr and Mrs Chiam and its other board members, amounting to approximately S$70,000. Other board members include Olympian May Ooi, former director of Singapore Sports Council, Jose Raymond, and national record holder for the 100m race, U K Shyam.