What it Takes to Nurture Young People with Disabilities | SPD - Singapore

What it Takes to Nurture Young People with Disabilities

After her record-breaking feats last year, a bond-free scholarship was launched under the name of Singapore’s golden girl Yip Pin Xiu at the Singapore Management University. It is a big stride ahead to a more inclusive society and SPD Executive Director Mr Abhimanyau Pal shares his views in this letter published in The Straits Times Forum on 15 December 2016.

The Singapore Management University (SMU) must be applauded for its recent initiative in launching a bond-free scholarship in honour of Singapore's three-time Paralympic gold medallist, Ms Yip Pin Xiu ("SMU launches bond-free Yip Pin Xiu scholarship for undergrads who excel in sport"; ST Online, Dec 6).

It will be offered to SMU undergraduates who enrol next August, in particular athletes who have excelled or have the potential to do so.

Ms Yip has flourished into an outstanding young person with many accolades.

Today, she serves as an inspiration for young people, with and without disabilities alike, to pursue their goals, strive and excel.

In effect, she radiates a positive energy that spreads its tentacles out to nudge people to persevere and to do well.

The Yip Pin Xiu Scholarship in itself also has a multiplier effect.

When Ms Yip won her first Paralympic gold medal in 2008, the awareness for disability issues and Paralympic sport was relatively low.

SPD got to know Ms Yip better when we started engaging her in 2011. She was awarded the SPD Youth Aspiration Award which supported her in competitive swimming.

NatSteel Holdings, sharing similar beliefs of empowering youngsters with disabilities, has come forward to sponsor and nurture such pursuits of non-academic causes.

Ms Yip excelled academically at SMU as well.

In 2013, she was awarded the Asia Pacific Breweries Foundation Scholarship for Persons with Disabilities, which SPD administers. That encouraged her to do even better.

Holistic learning and counselling support are extended to our scholarship and bursary recipients, when the need arises.

While we acknowledge the tremendous amount of sweat and tears that Ms Yip has put in to arrive at her life goals, it is also important to recognise the significance in placing upstream efforts and resources where our inclusive Singapore narrative wants to be.

Ms Yip is one of many young people with disabilities whom SPD supports and treads with.

Abhimanyau Pal
Executive Director