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Joseph Schooling: Singapore should explore more ways to support athletes

In his press conf addressing his retirement from competitive swimming, Joseph Schooling recognized Singapore’s strides in sports development while advocating for increased support for athletes.



SINGAPORE: Joseph Schooling, Singapore’s only Olympic gold medal winner, agreed that Singapore should increase support for athletes and emphasize the need for a more inclusive approach in sports development.

During a ‘sharing session’ with media on Tuesday (2 April), a reporter questioned Joseph Schooling about his parents’ sacrifices and whether he envisions a different approach for emerging athletes in Singapore, particularly in terms of overseas training without solely relying on personal and family finances.

Responding affirmatively, the 28-year-old swimmer remarked, “Absolutely.”

“I think it’s all a numbers game. In Singapore fortunately or not, we don’t have the numbers to be able to make mistakes. We need a better formula than everyone.”

Drawing the context of the US National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), he mentioned that out of the thousands or even tens of thousands of college athletes, only around 1% of them make it to the professional level.

Additionally, he noted that even among that 1%, approximately 10% may experience setbacks or failure within a year or so.

Despite acknowledging differences, Schooling stressed unity within the Singaporean sports community, advocating for collaborative efforts to enhance the existing system rather than a complete overhaul.

Schooling acknowledged the progress that has been made in Singapore’s sports ecosystem, citing improvements in support structures such as the Singapore Athletics (SAQ) and better personnel.

He expressed his commitment to contributing to the growth of the sports ecosystem moving forward.

“We are moving in the right direction. One of the things I’d like to do and I will be doing moving forward is to help our sports ecosystem grow,” he adds.

“I have had chats with Minister (for Culture, Community and Youth) Edwin Tong, Alan Goh (Sport Singapore CEO), and they have been very receptive.”

“It is nice to see I am transitioning into this phase where people are willing and receptive to taking our country to the next level. Different? No. Get better? Absolutely.”

Earlier, the 28-year-old swimmer, known for his historic 100m butterfly gold medal win in 2016, declared the end of his swimming career through a heartfelt message on his Facebook page and Instagram.

During the media session, Joseph Schooling was asked by a member of the press if he had any regrets throughout his career.

“If you asked me that five years ago, I’d probably say yes. After the Olympics 2016, I kind of took my foot off the gas. I was head and shoulders above everyone and got complacent.”

“I don’t regret that right now but I still wonder what if we just kept going along that path. There are these questions of ‘what if’, and I guess that’s what makes life interesting.”

“But do I feel a sense of regret? No. You win or you learn.”

Schooling’s reflection on cannabis consumption confession: Regretting the impact on loved ones

When asked bout Schooling’s cannabis use confession from a couple of years ago and whether it had affected his career, he responded by saying that in life, there are lessons to be learned from every experience.

“Life throws you curveballs, you make decisions, and you have to live with those consequences or decisions that you’ve made.”

“But no one is perfect, so do I regret it? I regret putting my loved ones and my family through all the angst and the scrutiny of it. ”

“The best way I can move forward is to know that there is a lesson to be learned in that, and if I’m better tomorrow than I am today I’ll take it.”

Schooling’s career  faced challenges during a public admission in 2022 of cannabis consumption overseas, which he described as “embarrassing and humiliating.”

In earlier conversations with Singapore state media the Straits Times,  Schooling said he is going to play golf and work in the venture capital space with two partners in the sectors of “health and wellness, tech and sustainability”.

He expressed eagerness for the next several decades of his career, emphasizing that his retirement marks the commencement of a new phase where he envisions significant endeavors ahead.

Schooling disclosed that his decision to retire stemmed from a realization that he no longer found joy in the routines of elite athleticism.

“Fast forward to where we are today – I woke up not feeling the same excitement to go to practice, I did not enjoy the grind any more,” he explained.

“One day, I went to the office (of his swim school) with mum, starting encroaching into the work aspect of life, and I started feeling that same sense of excitement again.”


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If a country don’t respect their citizens, they should just leave and go elsewhere they are appreciated.

The ruling government is not interested to supporting athletes. Were any of the current batch of Ministers ever athletes competing on an international stage?

The only thing they are good at is paying themselves high salaries based on what their “peers” in the “private sector” earn. Because they apparently “deserve” it.

Athletes at least create value through cultural contributions. What sort of value do the millionaire ministers add to the country? The answer is nothing. So do not expect them to recognise things that are of value.

Good Move. They don’t deserve you and your talent. That fella who absconded NS to play for EPL he had foresight and leapt while he could. Fuck the PAP and their rhetoric.

screw you! after using so much monies from Singaporeans you reitire suka round already fuck up big time…some more ask to giv more monies to sports, parasites …since sperm is already fuck up case for these useless humans

The PAP Administration love foreigners so much much more – local athletes can dream and dream and still dream and by the time when Li Jia Wei’s children, perhaps 20 years from now, win gold for SG, citizens can cling on to more dreams.

If I we were to speculate and DISCLOSE how much, how many Million$ of Dollar$ the PAP Administration gifted to Li Jia Wei, I hope Joseph refrain from crying father mother.

Schooling= 100% Correct!!!

Did pappies support Singaporeans or Foreign Talents?

Did we support and import Chinese Table Tennis Players? etc etc. What do you think?

Even jobs go to foreign talents? tsk tsk tsk

One distinct tenet of PAP Administration’s direct effort to promote and enhance the economy is Something to Do with Create jobs. And other than institutions and enterprises, this PAP made it so loud and clear, wealthy people they need to inject into the lives and environment of Sheeps – to create jobs. Do athletic people create jobs – er… they do in a certain tiny way, like? This fraud strategy has found out Eduardo Saverin prove the PAP wrong. Next were the PLATOON of Fujian Gang – who, yes they created work, not jobs, more work for security agencies, judiciary… Read more »