Based on the Singapore government agency Sport Singapore’s High Performance Sports (HPS) policy, there are national athletes who are receiving $600 a year or $50 a month on average under its SPEXTAG funding programme.
This revelation was made today via a Facebook post by Jose Raymond, who is a Vice-President of Singapore Swimming Association and the Vice-Chairman of the Chiam See Tong Sports Foundation.
He said: “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.”
See Raymond’s full post:
In his post, he notes that under Sport Singapore’s current funding structure for athletes under its HPS policy, there are five levels of carding for our national athletes – L1 to L4P. 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. (Full details of policy here)
Added Raymond: “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.”
While he did not name the athlete, Raymond said in his post that a gold medallist at the last SEA Games in Singapore is one of those who is receiving $600 a year for his efforts.
The unnamed athlete said that “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.”
Added Raymond, in his post: “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. Don’t keep lamenting about limited resources, but let’s look into effective allocation of limited resources to help make every Singaporean a winner.”
There have been numerous instances of national athletes who have been resorting to crowdfunding to fund their training expenses. Some of such athletes include Sarah Pang (tennis), Sayidah Aisyah (rowing), Vivian Rhamanan (squash), Griselda Khng and Olivia Chen (sailing).