Photo credit: MCCY

33 athletes from 11 sports to join 2023 cohort of spexScholarship programme

From this year, spexScholars who are entering National Service are eligible to remain on the scholarship.

Kelly Chin

Gets emotionally attached to fictional characters.

Published: 13 April 2023, 2:43 PM

The Sport Excellence Scholarship (spexScholarship) welcomed 33 new athletes from 11 different sports to its 2023 cohort on Wednesday (Apr 12), making the current number of spexScholars the largest to date.

There are now 105 athletes across 24 sports under the spexScholarship programme.

Starting this year, spexScholars who are entering National Service can also remain on the spexScholarship. According to Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong, this would enable the athletes to receive more comprehensive training support as they fulfil their National Service obligations.

The 10th cohort welcomed its youngest and newest member, 15-year-old fencer Elle Koh.


Elle has been fencing since she was four, and won the Women’s Individual and Team Epee Gold medal in the recent Hanoi SEA Games. PHOTO CREDIT: MCCY


This year’s cohort also sees the scholarship’s first athlete in open water swimming, Chantal Liew. She is the first Singaporean to qualify for and compete at the Olympics in the sport.

Among the 33 new spexScholars, there are seven former spexScholars who returned to the programme, including boccia athlete Toh Sze Ning, wushu athletes Jowen Lim and Vera Tan, and swimmers Darren Chua, Jonathan Tan, Mikkel Lee and Quah Zheng Wen.

A total of 68 nominations were received by the Singapore Sport Institute (SSI), of which 33 were selected to join the spexScholarship programme this year.

Each year, the spexScholarship is open to nominations by any athlete’s National Sports Association (NSA). 

To be eligible for the programme, athletes must be Singapore citizens who are of good character, spexCarded (an entry point into the national sports development system) athletes endorsed by their NSA, demonstrate potential for further development along the High Performance Sports (HPS) Pathway, able to commit to the demands of a full-time training load and in medal contention for major games and world level events.

Nominated athletes will also be assessed for their training commitment, sports performance, attitude and behaviour and performance and laboratory tests.

The 33 athletes are:

Athletics: Mark Lee Ren

Bowling: Colleen Pee, Tay Kai Lin Arianne

Disability Sport-Boccia: Toh Sze Ning, Aloysius Gan Kai Hong , Tan Yee Ting Jeralyn

Disability Sport-Swimming: Sophie Soon, Wong Zhi Wei

Diving: Avvir Tham

Fencing: Heng Jie Min Juliet, Elle Koh Meihui, Samuel Elijah Robson

Silat: Nur Ashikin Binte Zulkifli, Amirah Sahrin, Iffah Batrisyia, Muhammad Nurshahfareeq Bin Shahrudin, Dhani Andika Razali, Aniq Asri Bin Mohammad Yazid, Nadhrah Shahrin

Sailing: Denise Lim Ke Xin, Justin Liu

Swimming: Quah Zheng Wen, Liew Li-Shan Chantal, Chua Yi Shou Darren, Jonathan Tan Eu Jin, Mikkel Lee Jun Jie, Nicholas Rui Karsten Mahabir

Table Tennis: Wong Xin Ru, Poh Shao Feng Ethan

Wushu: Vera Tan Yan Ning, Jowen Lim, Ong Li Ling Kimberly, Zoe Tan Ziyi

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