Joseph Schooling granted NS deferment extension
The Armed Forces Council has granted Singapore's first Olympic gold medalist Joseph Schooling permission to extend his National Service (NS) deferment.
The 21-year-old will be enlisted for NS after the 2020 Olympic Games.
This follows a request to MINDEF from Schooling and his parents "to extend his deferment to train for and compete in the 2020 Olympic Games". This request was supported by the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY).
Back in 2013, Schooling's appeal for a deferment to train for the current Olympics was granted as he had "satisfied all prescribed conditions".
The Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen had stated then the "existing conditions for which all requests for deferment from full-time NS may be granted, ie in exceptional circumstances to individual sportsmen, who are assessed to be potential medal winners at international competitions like the Olympic Games and bring national pride for the country."
He had added: "Individuals will have to show why deferment is necessary for them to train full-time and compete successfully at international competitions. Each case will be assessed individually in consultation with the MCCY.”
In a statement from MINDEF today, Dr Ng said: "From 2013 to the 2016 Olympics, Mr Schooling has been exemplary in fulfilling the raison d’etre for his deferment – he trained hard and met all performance milestones on his way to Olympic glory. The rest of his achievements are, as they say, now the stuff of Olympic and Singapore legend."
"Together with all of Singapore, MINDEF wishes Mr Schooling continued success in the next Olympic Games."
On the deferment, Mr Oon Jin Teik, Secretary-General of Singapore Swimming Association said: "The Singapore Swimming Association is heartened and thankful for the continued support by MINDEF, Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, Singapore National Olympic Council, Sport Singapore and our many partners.
"We believe this is a historic milestone in supporting Joseph as he continues to raise our flag high and do our nation proud. This is the beginning of his career and we are confident that with the nation behind him, Joseph can only continue to achieve his dreams and continue to extend Singapore’s reputation as a world-class aquatics nation."