After serving as Member of Parliament (MP) for Potong Pasir for 27 years, former six-term MP Mr Chiam See Tong is all set to continue serving the community in an all-new capacity – as a Patronin-chief of the Chiam See Tong Sports Foundation.
The Foundation was officially launched on 9 March in the Chamber of the Old Parliament House, a venue where Mr Chiam first took his oath as a Member of Parliament in January 1985 after winning the Potong Pasir seat at the 1984 General Elections.
Mrs Lina Chiam, who served one term as a Non-Constituency MP from 2011 to 2015, is also a Patron of the Foundation.
The objectives of the Foundation are as follows:
- To help build the character of children and youths from needy families through their participation in sports.
- To advocate on behalf of the value of sports for under-resourced children and youths in the community.
- To build key athlete, corporate, and community relationships that increase sport opportunities for under-resourced children and youths.
- To develop programmes and services to supplement and complement national initiatives for children and youth sports development in Singapore.
Said Mr Chiam, who turns 82 on 12 March 2017: “Our children are our future, and we must provide them with as many opportunities as possible, so that they will find many paths towards being successful, patriotic Singaporeans. Sports is a unifying tool for nation-building and in building strong community bonds. We must continue to find ways to work together as a community, and to continue having faith in our children, and in believing in them.”
The Board of the Foundation will be chaired by former national swimmer and one-time world’s fastest over the 50m freestyle Mr Ang Peng Siong and co-chaired by Mr Jose Raymond, who is currently a Vice-President of Singapore Swimming Association.
Said Mr Ang: “This is a positive step for sports in Singapore. The aim of the Foundation is to find ways to help children achieve their sporting dreams, and to give them the added help. Sometimes, a timely intervention can alter the course of one’s life tremendously and in more ways than one.”
Timely intervention and support is something which Mr UK Shyam would identify with. Singapore’s record holder in the 100m sprints who will serve on the Board of the Foundation, Mr Shyam said: “My years as a sprinter was always filled with challenges, especially from a financial perspective. I was lucky that I had people around me like Uncle Peng Siong and Jose who were always around to provide help. It is important to give our young needy children a helping hand when they need it most, and it is our hope that become our national champions of the future.”
Added Camilla Chiam, who will serve as a Director of the Board: “My father always believed in using sports as a force for good. He held the tenet that a person’s true character is reflected and on full display when playing sports, whether on a recreational or competitive level. Through the Chiam See Tong Sports Foundation, we intend to provide youths in need accessibility to various sporting activities and in doing so, inspire them to discover their joy and passion while building strong life skills through sports.”
The Foundation will aim to help children and youth from disadvantaged backgrounds reach their sporting dreams.