Chiam See Tong Sports Foundation, which aims to help disadvantaged children achieve their sporting dreams, held its official launch on Thursday (9 March) evening at the Arts House, Old Parliament House.
The Foundation stated that it set to benefit at least 100 children in its first year.
A former Member of Parliament (MP) for Pasir Potong, Mr Chiam See Tong, serves as the Patron of the Foundation.
Mr Chiam, who turns 82 this year, said, “Our children are our future, and we must provide them with as many opportunities as possible so that they will find many paths towards being successful, patriotic Singaporeans.”
“Sport is a unifying tool for nation-building and in building strong community bonds. We must continue to find ways to work together as a community and to continue having faith in our children, and in believing in them,” he added.
The objectives of the Foundation, with its tagline “We Believe in You” (相信潜能相信你), are as follows:
To help build the character of children and youths from under-resourced families through their participation in sports
To advocate on behalf of the value of sports for under-resourced children and youths in the community
To build key athlete, corporate, and community relationships that increase sport opportunities for under-resourced children and youths
To develop programmes and services to supplement and complement national initiatives for children and youth sports development in Singapore
The Board of the Foundation will be chaired by former national swimmer and one-time world’s fastest over the 50m freestyle Mr Ang Peng Siong and co-chaired by Mr Jose Raymond, who is currently a Vice-President of Singapore Swimming Association.
Mr Ang said, “This is a positive step for sports in Singapore. The aim of the Foundation is to find ways to help children achieve their sporting dreams, and to give them the added help. Sometimes, timely intervention can alter the course of one’s life tremendously and in more ways than one.”
Mrs Lina Chiam, who previously served as a Non-Constituency MP from 2011 to 2015, is a Co-Patron of the Foundation.
Speaking at the launch of the foundation, she said, “Mr Chiam always believed that sports can be the fabric of society and a very good means of social cohesion that brings people together for a common pursuit. Sports activities for the youth represents enjoyment and along with the benefits of good health, its importance lies in the acquisition of life skills.”
Mrs Chiam added, “As we move forward with this meaningful cause, our aim is to help see today’s youth become our future champions, whether in life as successful individuals or great athletes bringing home medals of glory for Singapore.”
Mr U. K. Shyam, Singapore’s current record holder in the 100m sprints, serves as a Director of the Board, saying, “My years as a sprinter was always filled with challenges, especially from a financial perspective. I was lucky that I had people like Uncle Peng Siong and Jose around me who were always around to provide help.”
“It is important to give our young children a helping hand when they need it most, and it is our hope that they become our national champions of the future someday,” he said.
At the end of the event, teenagers, the first lot to benefit from the foundation received gifts from Mr Chiam and an art work produced by Ben Puah, commissioned by the foundation will be put up for auction to raise funds for the sports foundation.
The Chiam See Tong Sports Foundation, which was registered as a society, will also be undergoing the necessary due processes to be registered as a charity with Institution of Public Character (IPC) status.