Lions coach Yoshida and FAS staff help raise $50k for the needy
National football coach Tatsuma Yoshida and nine members of the Football Association of Singapore's (FAS) senior management have contributed almost $25,000 to help less privileged families and children during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Dubbed the OneStrong Fund, it will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the Government, making the total amount raised close to $50,000.
The FAS staff - Eric Ong, Nazeer Hussain, Fabian Chew, Gerard Christopher, Jonathan Wong, Haiyum Jaafar, Zainudeen Hassan, Aloysius Emmanuel Vetha and Yazeen Buhari - have given up their bonuses for last year, while Yoshida has contributed part of his monthly salary.
Said Yoshida: "I am very grateful for the support shown to me by Singaporeans during my time here and this is one way I am able to show my gratitude in return.
"I have personally seen how different communities, especially the essential workers and all of those who are working on the frontlines, have come together to help those in need since this pandemic started.
"It inspired me to play my part and show my appreciation."
FAS general secretary Yazeen added: "During difficult times like these, it is more important to help out the ones who require assistance.
"The value of football goes beyond the field. It is about how we step up and support our community.
"This is a personal gesture of solidarity among the senior management staff of FAS that embodies the power of sport and the love for our community."
The OneStrong Fund will provide beneficiaries with refurbished computing devices, learning tools and materials as well as other essential items.
The fund will be administered by Beautiful People, a volunteer movement that facilitates mentoring programmes for people from disadvantaged backgrounds, and New Life Stories , a non-profit organisation that supports children of incarcerated mothers.
Both groups have come up with a joint effort called the Circuit Breaker School Buddies Project, which will see 24 former and current Singapore athletes, as well as members from the sports fraternity, mentoring 31 children over 10 weeks.
Athletes involved include silat exponent Nurul Suhaila and swimmer Marina Chan.