How it started
In June 2010, the Singapore Olympic Foundation (SOF) set up the SOF-Peter Lim Scholarship with a S$10-million donation from philanthropist and sports enthusiast, Mr Peter Lim. The gift remains the single largest donation in Singapore from an individual towards sports development. In 2019, Mr Lim renewed his commitment pledging an additional $10 million to continue the Scholarship from 2021 to 2030.
The driving force behind the Scholarship is the desire to ensure that no promising young athlete who is committed to chasing his or her sporting dreams, should be hampered by financial restraints.
The Scholarship aims to:
- Help young deserving sports talents from financially challenged background to achieve their sporting goals; and
- Support young high performing athletes under 18 years old to pursue sporting excellence in their chosen fields.
From 2011 to 2020, 2,930 scholarships amounting to S$8 million were awarded to student-athletes from 54 sports.
The pandemic halted many local and international sports competitions. The disruption has affected the selection criteria for the application of the Scholarship. Benchmarks at such competitions would usually determine the eligibility of the recipients. With the lack of competition results, the SOF decided to seek alternative qualification criteria, in its effort to continue to support young aspiring athletes.
Hence, the SOF will be disbursing ‘encouragement awards’ instead of scholarships in 2021.
The aims remain the same – to encourage young student-athletes to play and compete in sports and to benefit as many recipients as possible from financially challenged backgrounds.