Tycoon Peter Lim pledges another $10M for his sports scholarship, $20M for new community project
Chia Han Keong
Yahoo News Singapore
3 July 2019
SINGAPORE — Singaporean billionaire Peter Lim has pledged another $10 million to continue the Singapore Olympic Foundation (SOF)-Peter Lim Scholarship for student athletes, which he started back in 2010.
This new investment adds to the original $10 million he pledged when he inaugurated the scholarship, a donation that made him the largest individual donor to a sports scholarship in Singapore. It will also extend the scholarship’s support for another 10 years, from 2021 to 2030.
The 66-year-old tycoon – who also owns Spanish La Liga club Valencia – is also set to donate a separate $20 million to start a new community project focused on helping children from less-privileged backgrounds reach their potential. Details of the project will be announced in the near future.
Donations announced by DPM Heng
The two major donations were announced by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat during his speech at the SOF-Peter Lim Scholarship award ceremony at Temasek Polytechnic on Wednesday (3 July).
“Mr Lim’s continued generosity will enable the foundation and other stakeholders to support more young aspiring athletes and fund new programmes,” said Heng.
“More importantly, Mr Lim’s donation is a vote of confidence and belief in our young athletes. I hope that Mr Lim’s generosity can encourage and inspire others in the community to step forward in various ways to support our Team Singapore athletes and the development of sports in Singapore.”
For his contributions, Lim was awarded on Wednesday the International Olympic Committee Trophy, which was jointly handed to him by DPM Heng, SOF chairman Ng Ser Miang and Tan Chuan-Jin, Singapore National Olympic Council president and Speaker of Parliament.
Australia’s four-time Olympic swimming champion Libby Trickett was also in attendance as a special guest and gave a short talk on how she overcame obstacles such as depression to emerge triumphant at the highest level.
2,642 scholarships given out so far
This is the ninth year in which the SOF-Peter Lim Scholarship has been handed out. Since its inception, 2,642 scholarships worth $7.2 million have been disbursed in four categories: Primary ($1,000), Secondary ($2,000), Tertiary ($3,000) and High Performance Under-18 ($5,000).
Some of the former recipients who went on to earn international honours for Singapore include Joseph Schooling (swimming), Amita Berthier (fencing), Shanti Pereira (athletics) and Martina Veloso (shooting).
There were 280 student-athletes from 44 sports who received the scholarships this year – totalling $781,000 in cash awarded – with a record 53 athletes in the High Performance U-18 category.
They included silat world champion Muhammad Hazim Mohd Yusli, Youth Olympic Games swimmer Christie Chue, and Mas Ridzwan Mohamad Ali, the first cyclist to receive the High Performance U-18 award.
Scholarships help in many ways
Rhythmic gymnast Avryl Tan, 18, was the only recipient of the top scholarship in her sport this year. The Ngee Ann Polytechnic student told Yahoo News Singapore that the scholarship will help defray costs of her apparatus, costumes and participation in overseas competitions.
“I need to constantly change my apparatus in order for it to be in good condition. Also, my costumes can be quite costly, as they have to be tailor-made in China. So the scholarship will give me a little peace of mind as I prepare for the upcoming SEA Games,” said the six-time scholarship recipient.
For brothers Jireh, 7, and Jonathan Dillon, 10, it was the first and second time respectively that the young wrestlers received the scholarships. According to their mother Jin, the scholarships will help pay for their overseas training camps and training attire.
“Wrestling is very fun. We get to learn new moves and play fun games in every training. I feel very fortunate to get this scholarship for a second time,” said Jonathan.