SINGAPORE — Following a morning training session on Monday (29 August), the Lion City Sailors first-team players gathered at their training centre's classroom for a workshop. Not on football, but on financial literacy.
For about an hour, they listened intently to a financial academy trainer from Singapore Exchange (SGX) as he dished out advice on what areas of their personal finances they ought to manage, especially after their relatively-short footballing careers.
This workshop is the first of a series from SGX Cares, the exchange's outreach initiative, as it seeks to impart fundamental financial knowledge and concepts to individuals.
Following several of such programmes with the Singapore Sports Institute and carded national athletes two years ago, it is taking its first steps to educate the local footballers.
"The nature of a football career is short and intense, and players will need to prepare for all the uncertainties in life after their careers by planning for their finances earlier, at a time when they are making good financial progress," said Chan Kum Kong, SGX's head of research.
"Once they get their eyes open to the financial possibilities, the next step to get them committed in terms of their efforts. It's just like training — you need to train your financial muscles."
Three areas of financial management
During the workshop, the footballers learnt about three general areas of financial management: protection, forced savings and passive income.
Sailors captain Hariss Harun, 31, found the SGX talk useful for a veteran player like him, as he prepares for when he eventually hangs up his boots.
"I think in Singapore, what you earned from your football career is not going to be able to sustain you through the rest of your life. That's the reality, so we have to prepare and start planning for the future, the earlier the better," he told Yahoo News Singapore.
"Some of us have already started to plan for that – whether it’s going to school, setting up a business, or coaching – and financial literacy is definitely a tool that will help us whatever we choose to do."
Sailors' sporting director Badri Ghent said the collaboration with SGX is aligned with the club's efforts in building all-rounded competencies among its players.
"Our players are our most important assets, and we want to create the best possible environment for them to fully focus on their work on the pitch while also equipping them for life beyond football," he said.
Last Friday, the Sailors also announced an elite development scholarship with St Joseph's Institution (SJI) International, which will see students receive football and academic education in SJI International and the Lion City Sailors football academy.
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