Schooling gives back
Olympic champion raises money for charity through authorised biography
As a pupil in Anglo-Chinese School (Junior), Joseph Schooling sometimes noticed that some of his schoolmates did not have enough money for food during recess time.
"I thought back to that years later and it really struck me," said the 21-year-old Olympic champion yesterday.
"Everyone should have enough to eat and be comfortable."
Yesterday, he helped raise $28,000 for The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund (STSPMF) from the sale of limited-edition copies of Schooling Joseph, one of two authorised biographies of the Olympic men's 100m butterfly champion, printed by the Straits Times Press.
The other title is a children's book, From Kid To King.
Schooling and his parents, along with a crowd of around 150 fans, were at the Singapore Press Holdings News Centre auditorium yesterday for a book-signing event, where both titles were also on sale.
"Many people can have big dreams but he showed the grit and determination and perseverance to make that dream come true," said SPH editor-in-chief of English, Malay and Tamil Media Group, Warren Fernandez.
"But, most of all, even after he had his dream come true and won the gold medal, he remains humble and remembered people who have helped him and gave to him and remembered the need to give back to others, as well."
Schooling Joseph was written by Straits Times senior sports correspondent Rohit Brijnath and former ST journalist Chan U-Gene, while From Kid To King is penned by ST news editor Marc Lim.
After the book-signing, he spent some time reading From Kid To King to a group of about 20 beneficiaries of the STSPMF.
Some of them made him laugh with questions like "Why do you swim so fast?", and "Are you married?"
Earlier in the day, Schooling received an honorary life membership from the Singapore Island Country Club (SICC) and was named the club's swimming ambassador.
He trained at SICC for about five years before moving to the United States to train and study.
After watching a video montage of his time at the club, Schooling said: "So many things happened in this club; that montage was really a trip down memory lane and it made me remember so many things that I haven't really thought about in a while.
"It was pretty emotional for me."
“I thought back to that years later and it really struck me. Everyone should have enough to eat and be comfortable.”
— Singapore’s Olympic champion Joseph Schooling recalling how some of his schoolmates did not have enough money for food during recess.