Singapore sailor Olivia Chen, who along with partner Griselda Khng are aiming to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, have been granted financial support by the Chiam See Tong Sports Foundation.
22-year-old Chen, is a former national netballer but who switched to sailing with Khng in the 49erFX class.
Both sailors are trying to qualify for the Asian Games 2018 and Tokyo 2020 Olympics and are currently funding their training out of their own pockets and through support from parents and well-wishers. They even had to resort to crowd-funding to get support for their training in Europe and Australia.
Said Chen, “We are thankful to the Chiam See Tong Sports Foundation for understanding our battles, and for giving us a bit of support to help us along. The journey of an athlete is sometimes a lonely one, and it is important for us to get help as we embark on our journey towards achieving success. We do hope that we will have other sponsors who will come forward to support our journey.”
Chairman of the Chiam See Tong Sports Foundation Ang Peng Siong said that the objective of the Foundation was to help as many athletes as possible, and in providing them whatever extra they need along their journey towards success.
“Sports is one way to rally a nation together under one flag, regardless of our backgrounds. Our athletes need to be supported, to help them reach their goals and targets. While we are more than happy to support Olivia and Griselda, the reality is they will need a lot more support and assistance. We do urge other corporate companies and well-wishers to help them in their journey towards qualification for the Asian Games 2018 and the Tokyo 2020 Olympics,” added former World Number 1, Olympian and social entrepreneur.
It is estimated that Khng and Chen will need about $200,000 to fund their training needs in their quest to qualify for Tokyo 2020, and are relying on sponsors and well-wishers to achieve their dreams.
Since its launch in March, the Chiam See Tong Sports Foundation has supported athletes like powerlifter Matthew Yap, modern pentathlete Kok Kiat Xuan and also a group of under-resourced children from Jalan Kukoh.
“Our promise to young athletes is that we will support them in whatever we can, and will do our part to help them in their journey towards achieving and representing the country. Our common mantra has to be that we help every Singaporean become a winner and a champion,” added Mr Ang.
The Chiam See Tong Sports Foundation was officially launched on 9 March in the Chamber of the Old Parliament House, a venue where Mr Chiam first took his oath as a Member of Parliament in January 1985 after winning the Potong Pasir seat at the 1984 General Elections. Mr Chiam and Mrs Lina Chiam, who served one term as a Non-Constituency MP from 2011 to 2015, are Patrons of the Foundation. 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.