Chiam See Tong Sports Foundation raises $150,000 in its inaugural Charity Gala Dinner on Saturday evening (12 Aug) at Fort Canning Hotel, organised to thank the warm support from friends and well-wishers for its cause and to showcase some of the helps provided by the Sports Foundation to some of Singapore’s young talents.
The Foundation was officially launched on 9 March in the Chamber of the Old Parliament House with the aim to help children and youth from disadvantaged backgrounds reach their sporting dreams.
Mr Chiam See Tong who is a patron of the Sports Foundation along with his wife, former Non-Constituency Member of Parliament, Ms Lina Chiam were present at the dinner as Guests-of-Honor to the dinner.
The Charity Gala Dinner was hosted by renowned TV presenter, Anita Kapoor and had many well-known individuals in the various industries in attendance.
Former national competitive swimmer Ang Peng Siong as Chairman of the Chiam See Tong Sports Foundation, thanked supporters and friends in his speech,
We are truly humbled by the support which you have shown all of us, and on behalf of the Patrons and the Board of Governors, we would like to thank all of you for supporting our endeavours. There is never a mountain too high to climb, and a bridge too distant to get to the other side. What is important is that our fellow Singaporeans will have a helping hand, to support every step of the way.
And thanks to all of you, we can also share with Singaporeans that, when all hope is lost, and when all doors close, we will be here to support them as much as we can. For if they are determined, then we want to show them that we will believe in them. Let’s do our part to create more Singaporean champions, as one nation, one Singapore.
Former Singapore national swimmer and Olympian turned-doctor-turned-professional MMA fighter, Ms May Ooi who is both the Chairperson of the Gala Dinner and director of the Sports Foundation said that she hopes to give the youth of Singapore the same opportunities that was given to her. “I hope they can take comfort in the fact that they can turn to the Chiam See Tong Sports Foundation to help realise their sporting dreams.”
Mr Nigel Owens MBE, the keynote speaker of the Charity Gala Dinner, in his first visit to Singapore, gave a touching and motivational speech to the audience about how rugby as a sport helped him to get his life back. Mr Owens recalled his experience growing up in Wales and development into a world-class rugby referee following a near-death suicide attempt during his days as a teenager who did not accept who he was.
Mr Owens said that while some say that life is what one makes it but he believes that life makes a person. He noted that it is the way how a child is brought up, how one’s guardians tell a child to behave, the influence of the community, the town, the school that the child is brought up in, the friends whom the child mix around, the coaches and etc, each and every one of those will have an influence of how a child is brought up. “Those influences would probably have made you a person who you are today.” said Mr Owens.
He further added that by supporting the great cause as what the Sports Foundation is promoting, will be helping the young athletes to get the opportunities to perform at the best of their ability.
Matthew Yap, the Power Lifter who recently broke the squat world record in the under 66kg sub-junior category at World Classic Powerlifting Championships at Belarus, said that with the support from the Sports Foundation, instead of having to work part-time and worrying about financial issues, he can now fully concentrate on his training. Matthew’s brother and coach, Marcus Yap said that it is hard to for athletes to find time to balance on every single and thing, study and save some money and train. With the support that the foundation is giving them, it will really aid and support the training efforts of his brother. He hopes that they can put Singapore on the map, and it is “not just for us but for the future generations to come. “
Ms Chiam said in her speech that the Foundation is moved to find so many that share the same goals, to support local youths and athletes with as many sports opportunities as possible, so they will become successful, patriotic Singaporeans.
"It is our mantra that no one should be left behind, and we should nurture as many young Singaporean champions as possible." said Ms Chiam and noted that one of the objectives of the Chiam See Tong Sports Foundation is to help athletes who do not qualify for state funding for one reason or another, but who display tremendous grit and determination in wanting to achieve their dreams.
Through the sales of the Gala dinner ticket and proceeds from the auction held during the dinner, the Foundation raised a sum of $150,000 which will be used to run programmes for the children and youth from disadvantaged backgrounds. Anyone who is keen to make a donation to Chiam See Tong Sports Foundation, can contact the Foundation at [email protected] or visit their website for more information.