|Photo by todayonline.com|
Singapore, 24 September 2013 – Standard Chartered has cemented its position as an advocate of local youth rugby with the renewal of funding to the Singapore Rugby Union (SRU). The sponsorship valued at SGD 810,000 will continue for three more years for the period 2013 to 2016. The campaign is expected to benefit the local youth community through the delivery of comprehensive rugby programmes including those tailored specifically for the disadvantaged.
Mr. Mike Rees, Group Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of Wholesale Banking of Standard Chartered said, “Standard Chartered is proud to be a sponsor of the Singapore Rugby Union which has played an important role in raising the awareness of rugby in Singapore. Our programmes focus on making a difference in the community and we believe with this sponsorship, Standard Chartered will be able to continue the support of the Union’s efforts in using rugby to positively influence the lives of young Singaporeans.”
Standard Chartered’s SRU sponsorship commenced in 1997 and funds the Standard Chartered National Rugby Academy (SCNRA) which conducts rugby clinics and also organises various national tournaments. This 16-year sponsorship has also made a significant impact with programmes that enable SRU to work closely with schools and community organisations to introduce the sport to disadvantaged youths. As part of the sponsorship the SRU has been running programmes for the Muhammadiyah Welfare Boys Home and Sport Cares, a joint initiative with the Singapore Sports Council. The SRU is looking to reach out to more disadvantaged-youth homes in the next few months.
Many promising players that have graduated from the Standard Chartered National Rugby Academy have done the country proud by going on to represent Singapore in regional competitions. The men’s national team are currently ranked the best in Southeast Asia and the women’s team are third in the whole of Asia.
In line with encouraging youths from the programme to give back to the community, there is an emphasis on
paying it forward. Two National Rugby Academy graduates now work full-time with the Singapore Rugby Union helping to further develop rugby in the community.
Mr. Sam Chan, Director of the Singapore Rugby Union said, “With the continued support from Standard Chartered, the Singapore Rugby Union will be able to continue to promote rugby to more schools and be able to nurture and groom more youth players. Recently, 12 U20 boys who are all graduates of the Standard Chartered Rugby Academy participated in the Asian Rugby Football Union U20 Boys Sevens Tournament in Malaysia. They emerged as Plate Champions in that tournament.”
Mr. Chan elaborated “This sponsorship also supports Singapore’s aspirations to instill a strong sporting culture as part of the Singapore Vision 2030 master-plan that promotes living better through sports while ensuring we can use sports to give back to society. This is a big part of the focus of the SRU.”