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New Excellence Awards To Recognise Sport Talents

Launch of Annabel Pennefather Excellence Award and Tan Howe Liang Excellence Award

Two new awards – the Annabel Pennefather Excellence Award and Tan Howe Liang Excellence Award – were given at the 17th Awards Night on 28 January 2021. Both awards, which honour local sports icons, aim to recognise graduating student-athletes with outstanding sport achievements. Besides sporting excellence, recipients of these awards should have demonstrated strong leadership, passion, integrity, moral character and conduct, and community spirit. They should also show their commitment towards pursuing sports excellence.

Ms Vanessa Ess, daughter of the late Annabel Pennefather, and Ms Chan Lay Hoon, Board Member of Singapore Olympic Foundation, were on hand to present the awards.

Annabel Pennefather Excellence Award
The Annabel Pennefather Excellence Award is sponsored by the International Women’s Forum (IWF) Singapore Education Grant, managed by Community Foundation of Singapore. The IWF Education Grant aims to recognise deserving young women with character and the commitment to achieve in their respective fields.

As such, the award was presented to two female student-athletes with outstanding sport achievements who graduated in 2020. The inaugural Annabel Pennefather Excellence Award was given to Au Yeong Wai Yhann (Squash) and Eunice Lim Zoe (Table Tennis). Both Wai Yhann and Eunice are exemplary role models as they managed to keep up their grades despite their sporting commitments. Eunice graduated last year with a near-perfect grade point average, which placed her as the top of her Diploma in Business Studies cohort. Wai Yhann also achieved an impressive 43 out of 45 points for the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. Even after graduating from Sports School, both Eunice and Wai Yhann have continued training hard to level up their skills to eventually to represent Singapore at major Games.

Wai Yhann shared, “I'm really honoured and grateful to recieve the Annabel Pennefather Excellence Award. Having taken a different route – two years off school to pursue sports – and again extending my studies to continue competing professionally, it is really heartening to see that the sacrifices I have made have not gone to waste. This award also reminds me to be grateful for the opportunities that I have been given.” In December 2020, Wai Yhann retained her title for the third time as the top Women’s squash player at the Marigold Championships 2020. Her main future goal is to qualify and podium at the 2020 Asian Games. On the professional circuit, she wants to first to break into the top 100, before subsequently climbing the ranks to become one of the top 80.

Tan Howe Liang Excellence Award
The Tan Howe Liang Excellence Award, funded by Singapore Olympic Foundation, is given in memory of Mr Tan Howe Liang, who became Singapore’s first Olympic medallist when he won a silver for weightlifting at the 1960 Olympic Games. Two male graduating student-athletes will be presented this award in honour of him annually. 

The inaugural recipients of the Tan Howe Liang Excellence Award are Nicholas Rachmadi (Triathlon) and Jowen Lim Si Wei (Wushu). Both of them returned home with silver medals from the 2019 Southeast Asian Games in the Philippines.

Jowen, who started his Diploma in Sports and Leisure Management course at Republic Polytechnic, transferred to the Sports School campus to do the same course to take advantage of the athlete-friendly curriculum and flexibility to balance sports and studies. On receiving the award, he shared, “It means a lot to me because it shows I have been recognised for the sacrifices I have made and the hard work I have put into Wushu.” Jowen hopes to podium at the SEA Games and World Championships this year, and eventually win a medal at the Asian Games.