Following the 2016 Olympic Games, based on performance and other contributing factors, some nations have seen their sports budgets decreased, while others have seen funding increase. New Zealand, who left Rio without an Olympic swimming medal or even a swimming finalist for that matter, was hit with a drastic funding reduction from $1.5 million in 2014 to $900,000 in 2017. On the flip side, with its historic outing at the Games, British Swimming will receive an increase in funds from UK Sport, with the goals of renovating the clubs and facilities where such athletes train, paying coaches, and providing other services that elite swimmers need to compete at a high level.
Singaporean sport is following the British path, but on a much larger scale, as its government announced an injection of S$100 million (~$70.1 million USD) into Sport Singapore’s (SportSG) High Performance Sports (HPS) program to help carry momentum of swimmer Joseph Schooling’s groundbreaking gold medal.
In order to help Singapore’s HPS system, the nation’s Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, Grace Fu, said the monetary influx is seen as an investment in Singaporean talent, which leaders hope to see have a strong showing at the SEA Games, Asian Games, and world and Olympic levels.
According to Today Online, half of the investment will be directed toward Singapore’s elite athletes, aimed at improving coaching, technical and high performance personnel, training environments, as well as to support opportunities for overseas training and competition.
“In 2016, one defining moment took place at 9.12am on the morning of 13 Aug. For the first time, we heard Majulah Singapura being played at the Olympics. Singaporeans celebrated wildly. Thousands lined the street to welcome Joseph Schooling home and congratulate him – regardless of race, language or religion,” said Fu.
“We want to sustain a strong showing at the SEA Games and ASEAN Para Games, and continue to nurture champions at the Asian and world levels. To groom that athlete into a world champion, we need great coaches supported by deep sports science and sports medicine capabilities,” she said.
“Growing our pipeline of talent and grooming them for podium success requires long-term athlete development plans and the resources and technical expertise to create a high performance training and competition environment.”