SINGAPORE: A new million-dollar fund has been announced on Monday (June 9) to help homegrown national paddlers fulfil their Olympic dreams. The initiative is made possible by a donation from prominent Indonesian businessman and philanthropist Dr Tahir, founder and executive chairman of the Mayapada Group in Indonesia.
His donation is the largest philanthropic gift from an individual in the history of the Singapore Table Tennis Association (STTA).
The “STTA – Dr Tahir & Associates Future Ready Trust Fund” will offer financial assistance for a university education or further learning opportunities to local-born national paddlers. They will have to represent Singapore at the 2016 Olympics or beyond.
STTA president, Member of Parliament Lee Bee Wah said they are "deeply grateful" for Dr Tahir's contribution. "It is never easy to encourage local talents to pursue sport professionally and Dr Tahir's gift to STTA will greatly improve our ability to achieve this goal. Most importantly, we hope that the fund will spur our local talents to dream big and it is my wish for them to represent Singapore at the Olympics in the near future.”
Dr Tahir – a table tennis enthusiast himself – said he was very happy to contribute to the development of the sport. “For most athletes, competing at the Olympic Games is the pinnacle of their career. To reach the Games, the athletes must have made many sacrifices and have dedicated both time and energy to their sport,” he said.
“For this reason, I would like to give back to these dedicated athletes by providing them with financial assistance and support to prepare them for the life after their sports career.” - CNA/xy
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