Schoolings win Straits Times Singaporean of the Year award
The Straits Times Singaporean of the Year 2016 award has gone to the Schooling family.
Colin, May and Joseph Schooling - aged 69, 61 and 21 respectively - yesterday beat 11 other contenders to the award, which is into its second run.
Other finalists included social workers, entrepreneurs and good Samaritans.
Supported by bank UBS Singapore, the award seeks to recognise Singaporeans who have put the country on the world map, persevered through adversity or made Singapore a better place through selfless acts.
Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies Tharman Shanmugaratnam presented Mr and Mrs Schooling with the trophy during a ceremony at the UBS Business University.
Their son, swimmer Joseph, was unable to attend due to university and training commitments in the US. The family also won a $20,000 cash prize.
The judges for the award noted how Mr and Mrs Schooling had made sacrifices and staunchly supported their only child's aspirations, rallying together as a family to overcome the odds.
To see him win Singapore's first Olympic gold medal, they shouldered mental and financial burdens, including spending more than $1 million on his education and training, and lobbying for three years to get him a deferment from national service in 2013 to prepare for the Rio Olympics.
Mrs Schooling encouraged other Singaporean parents to support their children's aspirations.
"I know we all try and say (things like) you got to be a doctor or lawyer... but I think as parents, (we should) allow them to find their way and guide them, but never force them. And then they will do better."
Their win was decided following a public vote and deliberation by a 15-judge panel. The other groups of finalists each received $5,000 from UBS.
For more, read The Straits Times today.