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SOF-Peter Lim Scholarship: A decade in aid of S'pore's youth athletes

A total of 289 youth athletes across 32 sports from 194 schools received a boost in their sporting careers yesterday as they were named as this year's recipients of the Singapore Olympic Foundation-Peter Lim Scholarship.

In all, $825,000 will be disbursed this year, making it $8 million over a decade in support of Singapore's young sporting talent.

When Singapore hosted the Youth Olympic Games in 2010, billionaire businessman Peter Lim donated $10 million to the SOF to start a sports scholarship.

Last year, he renewed his commitment by pumping in another $10 million to further fund the scholarship from 2021 to 2030.

It remains the single largest donation from an individual towards sports development in Singapore.

A total of 2,930 scholarships have been given out since the inaugural edition in 2011, with many of the recipients going on to represent the country at major Games - 13 at the Olympics, 77 at the Asian Games, 28 at the Commonwealth Games and 146 at the SEA Games.

Putri Nur Syaliza Sazali, 16, is one of the beneficiaries. In 2018, at just 14, she became the youngest footballer to play for the national women's team and even scored on her debut.

However, her football journey has not been an easy one.

Her mother, who works as a bus driver, is the sole breadwinner in the family of six, as her father is unemployed because of his health.

Issues off the pitch threatened to hinder her performance on it, but the scholarship has helped her stay the course.

Said the eight-time recipient: "The scholarship has really helped me a lot over the years. It was very difficult for me when I needed the money to get good sports equipment."

Traditionally, scholarship recipients will attend a ceremony to receive their awards.

However, in keeping with the Government's social distancing measures, the scholarship ceremony, like many other events, will not be held this year.

Recipients will instead have the scholarship cash awards directly deposited into their bank accounts.

The certificates will be sent to them after the circuit breaker measures are lifted.

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