The Tan family synonymous with Singapore water polo for decades has donated S$500,000 to help fellow athletes, the Singapore Olympic Foundation said on Sunday, 21 March.
To be led by Olympian Tan Eng Liang, the Singapore Olympic Foundation-Tan Family Water Polo Fund is meant to “develop young athletes and groom elite players, so as to establish Singapore as an Asian power”, the foundation said.
The fund was launched at Our Tampines Hub, along with Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong.
“Although I only had a S$200 bursary in university, it helped me to pay the bus fare. Whatever amount you get as a national athlete is a lot, so (the fund) is just our family’s small way of supporting water polo,” said Dr Tan, who was Singapore’s first Rhodes scholar.
“Water polo brought me to the Olympics, and I benefited not only in flying the Singapore colours, but attaining other achievements while playing for the country.
“Water polo was a life changer for me. Without water polo and academics, I would not have gotten the chance to (be awarded the) scholarship. I’m grateful for the sport.”
The donation is eligible for one-to-one matching by the Government under the One Team Singapore Fund, the Singapore Olympic Foundation said.
Mr Tong said: “The contributions made by Dr Tan Eng Liang and his family over the years to water polo and the sporting fraternity in Singapore have been significant and extensive.
“This new fund will support promising and high performing water polo athletes, and help them achieve their sporting aspirations.”
The fund will be administered by the Singapore Olympic Foundation through bursaries, scholarships and various programmes and aims to help young water polo athletes “achieve their goals”, through supporting high-performing water polo players to represent Singapore, and to promote a healthy environment for the progress of the sport in Singapore.
Photo: Singapore Olympic Foundation