13 Partners Join Athlete Support Schemes To Give Team Singapore Athletes Comprehensive Support

12 Nov 2013

Singapore, 12 November 2013 - The Singapore Sports Council (SSC) has today launched the Sports Excellence Education Scheme and Sports Excellence Career Scheme - with more than 1,000 Team Singapore athletes benefitting from them. With these schemes in place, there is now a formalised system of support for athletes to cope effectively with the dual demands of competitive sport and their careers or studies.

2. Launching the schemes, Mr Teo Ser Luck, Minister of State for Trade and Industry, and Chairman of the High Performance Sports (HPS) Selection and Performance Sub-Committee, said, "Athletes commit much of their prime to help bring glory to Singapore. There are sacrifices and dedication on the part of the athletes. While the expectation on them is high, we should assure them they are being taken care of now and in the future after their sports career."

Sports Excellence (Spex) Career Scheme
3. The Spex Career Scheme promotes a flexible work environment combined with a comprehensive support system that will allow athletes to balance their pursuit of high performance sports with career aspirations. This scheme was developed to ensure a more comprehensive framework to manage both employer and employee expectations and understanding in the area of high performance sports. Flexible workplace practices for these athletes will include the provision of flexi-time work arrangements, flexi-leave and flexi-place work arrangements such as carrying out one's responsibilities at a location other than the official workplace.

4. Seven companies from a diverse range of industries have agreed to be part of this landmark career scheme, which will be driven by a strong network of businesses in Singapore known as the Sports Excellence Business Network for Athletes. The network pioneers are Adecco, Charles & Keith, KPMG, MOH Holdings, MSIG Insurance, Resorts World Sentosa and StarHub.

5. "Through this business network, we hope to interest companies including SMEs, to share our beliefs in the value of athletes as valuable employees by offering them career development support in jobs and apprenticeship. This support will allow our national athletes to achieve their aspirations in sports and a second career after sports," said Mr Teo. "I urge more companies to join us in this journey to support our Team Singapore athletes."

6. Mr Stephen Tjoa, Partner for People, Performance & Culture at KPMG Singapore agrees and believes that there are mutual benefits for athletes and businesses. "Our athletes help to inject more vibrancy to our firm's efforts to develop a supportive environment that plays a key role in motivating and empowering young talents. It also emphasises the importance of achieving an optimal and harmonious relationship between pursuing sports professionally and fulfilling one's individual aspirations and potential."
Sports Excellence (Spex) Education Scheme
7. The Spex Education Scheme is designed to provide student athletes sufficient flexibility to enable them to pursue their chosen sport while maintaining a certain academic rigor. It also allows them to leverage on their sporting achievements to gain admission into Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) and be merited for their dedication to their sport.

8. Six Institutes of Higher Learning have come onboard as Education partners, which will benefit Team Singapore athletes pursuing their studies with them. The IHLs are Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore Management University (SMU), Republic Polytechnic (RP), ITE College East, ITE College Central and ITE College West.

9. "Our young athletes and their parents are sometimes in a position where they have to make a choice between pursuing sporting and educational aspirations. It should not be an either or situation. Our athletes have been able to benefit from the best of both worlds," said Mr Lim Teck Yin, Chief Executive Officer, SSC. "Our IHL partners today have shown that flexible arrangements can be made to give athletes complete support to achieve in their sporting and educational fronts. I hope to see one day that all our IHLs in Singapore will come onboard to support our athletes."

10. "Nanyang Technological University's mission is to nurture creative and entrepreneurial leaders through a broad education in diverse disciplines," said Prof Kam Chan Hin, Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education, President's Office in NTU. "Integral to its holistic approach in education, the University believes in being a pillar of support to its student-athletes, providing opportunities and a conducive environment for student-athletes to train, compete and excel in the sporting arena."

11. National canoeist Suzanne Seah is currently an undergraduate at NTU and she said, "When you get this kind of support from your school, we can put in 100% for both sports and academics instead of compromising on one. Our time can now be fully devoted to train and rest as well as study, do assignments and attend school."

12. The Spex Education and Career Schemes are extended to all carded national athletes. However, partner employers and IHLs are welcome to extend these flexible practices to other athletes working or enrolled with them. It will be managed by the Athlete Services Department from the Singapore Sports Institute - the nation's premier institute for the development of high performance sports and nurturing of elite athletes.


Fact Sheet on Sports Excellence Education Scheme and the Sports Excellence Career Scheme 

For media enquiries, please contact:

Eric Ong
Manager, Media Relations
Singapore Sports Council
Tel: (65) 6500 5014
Email: eric_ong@ssc.gov.sg

About Singapore Sports Council
The Singapore Sports Council aims to transform the nation through sport, by inspiring people and uniting communities. As the national sports agency, we work with a vast network of public-private-and people sector partners to create access, opportunities and capabilities for individuals to live better through sports. As detailed in the Vision 2030 Live Better Through Sports recommendations, our mandate goes beyond driving participation and winning medals. At SSC, we use sport to create resilient, tenacious people, an appreciation for teamwork, a commitment to purpose, strong united communities and national pride.

To find out more, visit our websites www.ssc.gov.sg, www.Vision2030.sg and SingaporeSports.sg.

Follow us on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/SingaporeSports

For a range of photographs, visit flickr.com/ssc-sportsphotography

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