Grace Fu: 'No discrimination in helping para-athletes excel'
Instead of focusing on post-podium rewards for national athletes, the Government's focus remains on helping all athletes get to the podium, said Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu.
To this end, there will be no discrimination on the support extended to para-athletes, Ms Fu stressed.
Ms Fu was responding to questions on whether the Government will consider offering equal rewards to Olympic and Paralympic gold medallists.
Para-swimmer Yip Pin Xiu will receive $400,000 for the two gold medals she won at the recent Rio Paralympics, while swimmer Joseph Schooling received $1 million for winning a gold medal at the Rio Olympics.
The rewards medal-winning athletes receive are decided by the Singapore National Paralympic Council (SNPC), Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) and their sponsors.
"This is in line with the general convention that monetary rewards for competitions in sport are largely funded by private means through sponsorships, donations and product endorsements," said Ms Fu.
"I encourage the SNOC and SNPC to review the schemes with their sponsors, and for more corporations to step forward to support SNOC and SNPC on the awards."
What can make a difference to the national athletes is the combined assistance they receive from family, the community, corporations, the public and the Government, Ms Fu said.
She said: "Instead of a one-off cash prize, athletes would also welcome career opportunities that can accommodate their sporting commitments and provide greater security and dignity when they retire from their sporting career.
"To enable this, SportSG has the spexBusiness Network."
There is also no discrimination. For instance, the monthly payments under the spexScholarship scheme for all athletes are the same.
And sports medicine and sports science specialists, psychologists and trainers under SportSG offer the same support to both able-bodied and para-athletes.