SOF-Peter Lim Scholarship celebrates its tenth year ©SOF

The Singapore Foundation-Peter Lim scholarship is celebrating its 10th year of funding promising athletes with more grants given to under 18s this year.

Funded by Singapore businessman Peter Lim who the scholarship is named after, it has been running since 2011 giving 2,930 recipients in 54 sports a total of $8 million (£6.5 million/€7.2 million) to support sport.

This year 289 recipients in 32 sports from 194 schools will receive a total of $825,000 (£670,000/€746,000) this year with 53 of those qualifying for the high performance category.

Those who reached this upper tier come from sports including cycling, ice hockey, jiu-jitsu, softball and water polo who all have athletes in the high performance level for the first time.

Traditionally those who win funding from the SOF-Peter Lim Scholarship would attend a ceremony for their awards, however due to the COVID-19 outbreak it will not be possible.

Recipients will instead have the amounts deposited to their bank accounts.

Peter Lim will fund the scholarship until at least 2030 ©Getty Images
Peter Lim will fund the scholarship until at least 2030 ©Getty Images

SOF chairman Ng Ser Miang said: "Pursuing sports excellence is life changing - it gives inspiration and hope.

"Over the past 10 years, Mr Lim's continued generosity has allowed many young Singapore athletes to pursue and excel in their sporting dreams.

"It stemmed from his simple wish that no young athlete be held back, or have unrealised potential because of financial difficulties."

Lim started the fund when Singapore hosted the Youth Olympic Games in 2010 and has since extended his commitment to the programme by funding the scholarship until 2030.

Those who have benefited from the scholarship have gone on to represent Singapore at various major events, with 13 going to the Olympics, 77 to the Asian Games, 28 to the Commonwealth Games and 146 to the Southeast Asian Games.

Among those awarded is Putri Nur Syaliza Binte Sazali who at 16 is the youngest footballer to play for the Singapore national women's team and in 2018 had scored on her debut for the nation at the age of 14.

Despite her talent, her family's financial difficulties have made the support very helpful.

The eight-time recipient said: "The scholarship has really helped me a lot over the years.

"It was very difficult for me when I needed the money to get good sports equipment."

Four-time recipient of the scholarship and 2019 SEA Games gold medal winning short track speed skater Xu Jing Feng became part of the high performance team for the first time. 

He said: "Last year, the funds helped defray my competition fees and equipment expenses which were necessary for my SEA Games preparations.

"This year, I'm planning to replace my skating boots which are coming apart after four and a half years, and hope to use the scholarship funds to cover the replacement."

Lim has a vested interest in football as the owner of Spanish side Valencia and having a 40 per cent share of English fourth-tier team Salford City, known for their link to former Manchester United players, who also part-own the club.