spexBusiness Network Team Singapore Growing Stronger with Corporate Singapore
Current and former national athletes seeking support in their career development during and after their competitive sports careers have been well supported by the spexBusiness Network initiative since it was launched in November 2013.
The spexBusiness Network has since grown from strength to strength with an increasing number of multi-national and local firms investing in its ‘out-of-the-box’ strategy to recruit elite sportspersons to give their companies a competitive edge.
At the spexBusiness appreciation lunch event held on 13 January 2016, Minister Grace Fu (Ministry for Culture, Community and Youth) welcomed 9 new corporate partners on board, expanding the network from 7 to 30 companies from 19 different industries. Furthermore, a total of 62 Team Singapore athletes have been placed with various partner companies either on internships, part-time, flexi-time or full-time employment.
Among the new partners that came on-board is Hyflux Limited, whose Executive Chairman & Group Chief Executive Officer Ms Olivia Lum said: “As a home-grown Singaporean company, Hyflux believes in lending our support by providing career development opportunities for local talents. It is a mutually beneficial arrangement as we’re able to recruit and nurture local national athletes whilst providing them with a platform to shine and develop their career through our diverse business units. This unique talent pool of sportsmen also provides diversity in background and will hopefully bring fresh perspectives to our business.”
Mr Delane Lim, Group CEO of Agape Group Holdings, another new corporate partner, added, "We are committed to provide athletes with a train-while-work opportunities so that they can continue to excel and represent Singapore yet not lagging behind their peers in terms of work experience or progression. Having athletes working in my organisation can also help to create a healthy and sporting culture in the organisation and ultimately promote a ‘winning mentality’ amongst everyone."
In just over 2 years, the list of corporate partners has grown by more than four-fold and this is a strong testament that more companies are seeing the value of sports, specifically in using sports to build the ‘Ethos of Excellence’. Moving forward, the spexBusiness Network is strategically positioned as the primary vehicle for the Singapore Sports Institute (SSI) to engage Corporate Singapore to build partnerships and create value to support our Team Singapore athletes.
Under the leadership of the spexBusiness Network Advisor, Minister Teo Ser Luck (Ministry of Manpower) and Chairperson of the spexBusiness Advisory Panel, Ms Tan Yen Yen, a new and exciting vision has been developed to build on this positive momentum with the intent to forge a sustainable relationship with Corporate Singapore and create a myriad of synergies and confluences of aspirations to achieve win-win. Ms Tan said, “I see immense potential for Corporate Singapore to play an even greater role in the development of sport in Singapore, beyond the recent Southeast Asian Games and ASEAN Para Games. Our new vision for the spexBusiness Network is essentially about forging stronger and more sustainable partnerships between Corporate Singapore and our athletes, so much so that when companies think of Team Singapore athletes, they think ‘spexBusiness Network’. I am confident that the spexBusiness Network is well-positioned to develop the new foundational pillars of this new vision.” Ms Tan is also the Regional Vice President & Managing Director, Asia Pacific (South), SAS Institute.
Details of the new vision are encapsulated in the info-graphic below:
At the same event, two new initiatives were also announced by Minister Grace Fu.
One of the initiatives is the spexEntrepreneurship Programme, whereby a Memorandum of Understanding between SSI and the Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE) was inked to provide a suite of services to help aspiring athletes who wish to venture into start-ups and setting up their own businesses. This includes mentorship with experienced businessmen, connections to useful contacts and other relevant resources.
The momentous occasion also saw the surprise performance of a group of Team Singapore athletes donning aprons and top hats as ‘Masterchefs’ to launch the first-of-its-kind ‘Team Singapore Card’. This privileged card allows national athletes to enjoy discounts in food & beverages, sporting products and lifestyle services at the various retail outlets in the Sports Hub precinct.