Health & Fitness

Food discounts and cheaper taxi rides to honour Joseph Schooling

Hours after Schooling's Olympic gold-winning feat, several companies took out advertisements congratulating him. They include McDonald's, DBS, Singapore Press Holdings, (from left) Singtel, Select Group and Brands

Image: Tiffany Goh for The Straits Times

Some local companies are proving that they can move as speedily as swimmer Joseph Schooling.

Hours after his Olympic gold-winning feat, several took out congratulatory advertisements while others announced a variety of offers to honour his achievement.

Suntory Beverage & Food Asia, which owns Brand's Essence of Chicken, ran a full-page advertisement in The Sunday Times to congratulate the young swimmer. Suntory's vice-president of corporate affairs Daniel Quek said the decision to run the advertisement was spontaneous, adding: "Everybody is in celebration and we thought, why not get in on it as well?

"Schooling showed that hard work and effort lead to the right reward, and that reflected well with the image of our product."

Fast-food giant McDonald's, an official Olympic sponsor, announced on its Facebook page that it will give out free chicken nuggets to the first 50 customers at all its branches today, starting from 11am.

Canopy Garden Dining, located at Bishan Park, offered a 50.39 per cent discount for brunch and dinner yesterday. It made the announcement on its Facebook page.

The move drew praise from some, such as Jude Tok, who commented on Facebook: "The first place I know that offers discount to celebrate the Olympic Gold. Nice gesture and very generous!" Demand was so overwhelming that the eatery extended its offer till Friday.

The food and beverage industry was not the only one celebrating Singapore's first Olympic title. Gruppo Gamma Time Instruments, a watch retailer, is offering a US$100 (S$135) discount off its timepieces till the end of the month.

On the roads, about 17,000 ComfortDelGro taxis will be displaying "Our Pride J Schooling" on the taxi rooftop signs until Sunday to "celebrate this historical moment". The public transport operator also offered a $10 discount for passengers who wished to welcome the 21-year-old at Changi Airport this morning. The discount was given to the first 1,000 passengers who made booking trips via the ComfortDelGro App from anywhere to the airport from 3am to 5am today.

DBS Bank, which also put up a double-page ad in today's edition of The Straits Times, sent a 20-strong contingent to welcome Schooling at the airport this morning. Said a spokesman in a statement: "As the former Development Bank of Singapore and the People's Bank, DBS and POSB have always been driven by a strong sense of purpose.

"He is a huge inspiration and we join all Singaporeans in celebrating this Singapore son, and to say how proud we are of him."

Schooling's performance also sparked the impromptu creation of the Olympic Values Fund at a National Day dinner. Mr Christopher de Souza, an MP for Holland-Bukit Timah GRC, announced the fund's set-up at the dinner after tycoon Sam Goi, chairman of the Ulu Pandan Citizens' Consultative Committee (CCC), pledged $500,000 on behalf of the Ulu Pandan Community Club Management Committee. 

The fund, which aims to reflect the character and fortitude shown by Schooling, is designed to encourage Ulu Pandan residents to initiate noble causes to improve community relations. The money will be administered by the Ulu Pandan Community Club, and anyone under the age of 30 can apply to use it to start any initiative or programme that aids the community, as long as they reflect an Olympic value such as friendship, respect and excellence.

• Additional reporting by Carolyn Khew

A version of this story was originally published in The Sunday Times on August 15, 2016. For more stories like this, head to www.straitstimes.com.

42 Health & Fitness 13 Lifestyle

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