Majulah Para Sports Bursary Supports Aspirations of 5 Youth in Para Sport
- $30,000 awarded to support competitions, training, transportation and purchase of sports equipment
University freshman Alina Seow started horse riding in 2012 as part of physical therapy for her cerebral palsy condition. Inspired by the Singapore para equestrian Paralympic team, Seow participated and won prizes at local competitions, and built a dream of one day representing Singapore at the Paralympic Games. However, equestrian lessons and equipment are expensive, and Seow, coming from a humble family, has scrimped and saved from a young age to afford lessons.
In recognition of Seow’s resilience to defy the odds and to support her to go further for her aspiration, the Singapore Disability Sports Council (SDSC) decided to select the 22-year-old as one of five recipients of the inaugural Majulah Para Sports Bursary 2021.
“I have been training very hard and my family has made a lot of sacrifices for me to chase this dream. I am hoping to have the opportunity to travel overseas for training, classification and to participate in international competitions. This would not be possible without the support provided by the bursary and I am thankful to be chosen as a recipient. Para equestrian is my passion and I hope to represent Singapore at the Paralympic Games one day,” said Seow, a Smart-City Management & Technology Major at the Singapore Management University.
The Majulah Para Sports Bursary 2021 aims to help persons with disabilities engage meaningfully and successfully in sport. Introduced by SDSC this year in partnership with the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) Singapore Foundation, a total of $30,000 was awarded to five deserving persons with disabilities, from more than 40 applications.
Recipients of the bursary are expected to use the awarded sums for their pursuits in sports, in areas such as coaching, classification, competitions, transportation, nutrition and equipment.
Another recipient of the Majulah Para Sports Bursary 2021 was Robby Yeo, a para swimmer who has Williams Syndrome and Pulmonary Stenosis. Introduced to swimming as therapy when only ten months old, Yeo now trains six times a week, hoping to follow the footsteps of her idol, Paralympic bronze medallist Theresa Goh. The 15-year-old is now preparing for the Bahrain 2021 Asian Youth Para Games (AYPG), which will be her first international competition and the first time she represents Singapore. Coincidentally, Theresa Goh would be the chef de mission for the AYPG.
“I am very happy and excited to receive the bursary. It will help me to get more training done before my first international competition at the Bahrain 2021 Asian Youth Para Games, and to afford a good swim suit to compete in. This is my first time representing Singapore and it will be a proud moment for my family. I hope to do well and achieve new personal bests”, said Yeo, who is a student at Grace Orchard School.
“JCCI Singapore Foundation is pleased to be able to support the SDSC and Singapore’s para sports initiatives since 1997. We believe that persons with disabilities should be entitled to quality-of-life just like non-disabled individuals, and encouraged to pursue their aspirations equally. We are therefore pleased to be the founding donor for the Majulah Para Sports Bursary and we hope to see others step forward to support this programme,” said Mr Ryosuke Shimizu, JCCI Singapore Foundation Secretary General.
“Besides supporting top para athletes like Yip Pin Xiu and Syahidah Alim, SDSC works with our partners to help other individuals with disabilities transform their lives through various levels of sport participation. The loyal friendship of JCCI Singapore Foundation has changed our beneficiaries, from being mere beginners in sport to becoming respected national representatives. We are thankful to have the Foundation walk this long but precious journey with us, and hope we can continue to help more people in the years forward,” said Ms Kelly Fan, Executive Director, SDSC.