Over $1.1 million will be distributed through Peter Lim Foundation Scholarships. PLS

The Olympic Foundation Scholarships, which were awarded to 404 beneficiaries this year, will assist them with their sports and school-related expenses in four categories. The awards ceremony was held at Temasek Convention Centre, Singapore. 

The Peter Lim Olympic Foundation Scholarship has become a stepping stone for many athletes to go on to achieve more. Many have gone on to represent the country at major Games. At the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games, five of them won medals for Singapore. Among them was Asian Games champion Veronica Shanti Pereira, who received the scholarship in 2014 and 2015.

Shanti will be one of the seven former scholarship holders who have either met the qualifying mark for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games or are in the process of doing so. The 27-year-old sprinter, who is currently in Europe, had a message for young people who are now in the same position as she was: "My advice is to use the awards wisely: Make plans with your coaches and support teams. Remember your goals and make sure you are doing everything you can to achieve them.

404 beneficiaries in 34 sports from 148 schools will share the $1.1 million (1,012 million euros). 96 of them are high performance athletes in the under-18 category. Olympic and world champion swimmer Anthony Ervin was one of the special guests. Since 2011, 4,923 scholarships worth $11.6 million (10,678 million euros) have been distributed to support Singapore's sporting talent, including seven aspiring 2024 Olympians.
Beneficiaries received cash scholarships to support their sporting and school-related expenses in four categories - primary, secondary, tertiary and high performance under-18.

Anthony Ervin, Olympic medallist and world champion, was one of the guests at the scholarship award ceremony. GETTY IMAGES
Anthony Ervin, Olympic medallist and world champion, was one of the guests at the scholarship award ceremony. GETTY IMAGES

The scholarship is the brainchild of entrepreneur and philanthropist Peter Lim, who in 2010 donated $10 million (9,206 million euros) to the Singapore Olympic Foundation. In 2019, he pledged a further $10 million (€9.2 million) to continue the scholarship until 2030. His commitment remains the largest individual donation to sports development in Singapore. To qualify for the scholarship, recipients must meet certain criteria. These include achieving results in relevant sporting competitions.

Since 2011, nearly 5,000 scholarships worth $11.57 million (€10,6 million euros) have been awarded to athletes. 1,299 applications from 220 schools were received this year. In this edition, 96 of the applicants were in the under-18 elite group. They included Asian Youth Medallist Jovi Loh (artistic gymnastics), Youth Olympians Amelia Chua and Ryo Ong (ice skating) and Asian Games bronze medallist Keira Marie Carlyle (sailing).
Kickboxing made its debut with Singapore Polytechnic's Alexavier Koh as the first recipient. Roller sports saw its first awardee in the High Performance category with roller skater Keenan Brunkard.

Sixteen-year-old Harry Irfan Curran from Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) is a sprinter with a promising future. Irfan said, "I have represented my school at the National School Games every year since 2020 and eventually I want to represent my country at the big games. As Shanti Pereira has shown us all: It is not an impossible dream if we work hard enough. I am determined to make my dream come true with the continued help and support of my coaches, mentors, family, Singapore Athletics and now the SOF-Peter Lim Scholarship."

Shanti Pereira, pictured left, was a scholarship holder. She will now represent Singapore at Paris 2024. GETTY IMAGES
Shanti Pereira, pictured left, was a scholarship holder. She will now represent Singapore at Paris 2024. GETTY IMAGES

Each year, an illustrious athlete comes to inspire. In 2024, it was swimmer and three-time Olympic champion Anthony Ervin from the USA. Ervin was accompanied by several authorities, including Ng Ser Miang, Vice President of the International Olympic Committee. Mr Ng said, "Peter's support has had a tremendous impact not only on individuals such as Shanti Pereira, Amita Berthier and Izaac Quek, who will be Singapore's representatives at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, but also on the sporting landscape in Singapore." He said, "Over the years, we have witnessed the growth of many young athletes who have risen through the ranks of competitive sports. Their impressive achievements have encouraged the community to continue to strive for sporting excellence. We are grateful for Peter's support in realising the potential of our young athletes, especially those with fewer resources. We hope that they will continue on their meaningful journeys to achieve their goals and make Singaporeans proud."

The scholarship aims to help promising young athletes achieve their sporting goals. It also supports outstanding young athletes from financially disadvantaged backgrounds. Past recipients of SOF's Peter Lim Scholarship include Joseph Schooling (swimming), Shayna Ng (bowling), Martina Lindsay Veloso (shooting), Veronica Shanti Pereira (track and field) and Adam Swandi (football).