Over S$132,000 in donations and sponsorships was raised at the Tasek Sailors Charity Football fundraiser on Sunday, 7 July, with 20 corporations and organisations, along with approximately more than 75 Tasek Sailors youths and their families, coming together for the second edition of the event.

The funds raised will empower and uplift disadvantaged children and youth across Singapore through Tasek Sailors – a collaborative initiative between Lion City Sailors and Tasek Academy and Social Services. Established in June 2023, this initiative aims to provide a comprehensive program that integrates football training with mentorship, academic support, and life skills development.

The multi-dimensional approach is designed to inspire children and youth to dream big, reach their full potential, and positively impact their communities.

After the success of last year’s inaugural event, the second edition of the Tasek Sailors Charity Football tournament returned to the Lion City Sailors Training Centre, with corporate donors and members of the local football community gathering once again in the spirit of the Beautiful Game.

Ms Jane Ittogi, graced the event as Guest of Honour and praised the work of the Tasek Sailors.

Ms Ittogi, who is also the Chair of Tasek Academy and Social Services, said, “The important thing… is that it’s not just about football. As Tasek Sailors continue to make waves, their journey shows us all that doors do open, and dreams can come true with self-belief, perseverance, and support from all. Football, like all sports, is about what we each do, as players, as parents, as teachers, as coaches, as donors, to open doors.”

The fundraiser saw esteemed organisations like JP Morgan, MSIG, Prudential, Deloitte, Singapore Pools, X-Press Feeders and the Ministry of Education (MOE) taking part in the Corporate tournament, with Kstone beating Studio 8 Interior 2-0 in the final to win the tournament.

Former and current Singapore internationals from both the Men’s and Women’s teams, including Lionel Lewis, Aleksandar Duric, Ho Hui Xin, and Zulfahmi Arifin, along with local media personalities Ian Fang and Nicholas Teo, added stardust to the event, as they led the Under-14 to Under-16 youth teams from Tasek Sailors in friendly matches against their counterparts, while also sharing their own personal life journey and giving advice to the young participants.

There were also workshops scheduled for the youths, featuring guest speakers from MOE – Ghazali Abdul Wahab, Noor Aishah Haja Mohideen, Khairunnisa Ismail and Nasrun Mizzy – and entrepreneur Nabill Shukry Johari, who is the founder of Cheekies SG. Participants at these workshops gained insights into entrepreneurship, sports nutrition and leadership.

In addition, selected post-secondary youths took on various event-related roles such as youth team managers and business managers, empowering them with leadership opportunities.

“This is the second time we’re holding this fundraiser and it’s even more meaningful this year with the inclusion of various aspects to enrich the youths that came,” said Lion City Sailors General Manager, Tan Li Yu. “We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all participants and sponsors who contributed to the success of this event. 

“We’re delighted by the support given and we’ll channel the funds raised into further improving the Tasek Sailors program to benefit the youths even more.”

The funds will be channelled towards three key pillars: Enhancing wraparound mentoring support for disadvantaged children and youth, Elevating the quality of the Tasek Sailors football program, and Expanding outreach to include more girls.

The Tasek Sailors have achieved several notable milestones since their inception a year ago. 

The funds raised in 2023 enabled the entity to establish East Centres at Bedok Green Primary School and Manjusri Secondary School, extending self-development opportunities through football to 200 additional children and youth. In total, the initiative has impacted over 750 socially disadvantaged children and youth till date. 

With centres established in the East and West, the Tasek Sailors aim to expand their programme by opening centres in the North and South, making it accessible island-wide.

Exposure to youth competitions was enhanced, with a total of five teams across the East and West centres participating in this year’s inaugural Singapore Youth League in the Under-15 and Under-17 categories. The U15 Tasek Sailors West A Team exceeded expectations by advancing from the classification round to Division 1.

Individuals – both boys and girls – who shone with their potential and dedication received the opportunity to get into the Sailors’ youth setup. Eir’man Aqel, who is now with the Sailors’ Development Centre (DC) Under-12 team,will be going for a 10-day training camp in Portugal in end-2024, while another two – Ziecqy Fadzreeq and Rasul Aufirzuansyah – got into the Sailors’ Football School (FS) 1 team, which competed in the JSSL U11 League and emerged as champions of their division. 

Two girls, Nur Irnissa Munifa and Aniqa Shaista Bte Saufi, have also impressed enough to now be training with the Sailors’ Girls Academy. 

The Tasek U16 girls team recently emerged champions in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Women’s Football Day tournament. They are also participating in the inaugural FAS Women’s Youth League, giving them exposure to both local and expatriate Singapore-based teams like the French Football Academy and ANZA.

Going forward, more training groups will be established to cater to competitive, developmental, and social players. 

“Our goal is to make a lasting impact on the lives of our young participants by offering comprehensive support, high-quality training, and inclusive opportunities that empower them to realise their full potential,” said Muhammad Sufri Ramli, Lead Manager at Tasek Academy and Social Services. 

“By integrating tiered leadership opportunities, psychoeducation, academic support, and increasing the presence of dedicated mentors, we aim to foster long-term personal growth alongside football development for our Tasek children and youth.”