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More young athletes in sports-related business ventures

More young athletes are venturing into sports-related businesses. SportSanity, started by three women bowlers, is the latest to roll onto the business lanes. The trio aims to fill a gap in the sports industry with a portal that provides information on everything from coaches to retailers.

SINGAPORE: More young athletes are venturing into sports-related businesses.

SportSanity, started by three women bowlers, is the latest to roll onto the business lanes.

The trio aims to fill a gap in the sports industry with a portal that provides information on everything, from coaches to retailers.

Kristel Oh, founder of SportSanity, said: "Being sportsmen ourselves, we want to see sports grow in Singapore. So we hope that we do help raise awareness of sports in Singapore and increase participation rates. I believe that, for example, if I am able to find such a service, I can find coaches, retailers and background information on sports before I can get started. I might more likely be able to have easier entry into the sports."

Personal knowledge and contacts in the industry also made it easier for the founders.

Denise Chan, co-founder of SportSanity, said: "Actually, there are only three of us and there is a lot of ground to cover, but along the way we are glad to have gotten a lot of help from the coaches and the retailers who are more than willing to get on board."

Other useful services include finding sports partners, and trading their second-hand sports items online.

To bowl over more fans, SportSanity offers sports scores and an "ask-an-expert” section.

Dream+ is another athlete-driven company that has been operating since 2009.

The team of 40 past and present national athletes provides customised programmes to institutions in Singapore and abroad.

Sherman Cheng, director of Dream+, said: "Especially when we speak to schools and organisations, they like the fact that some of us are coming back to give back to the community, to society - ex-national athletes coming on board to bring their experience and knowledge in sports and giving back."

Recently, the authorities launched the Sports Excellence Career Scheme to get companies to hire athletes. The initiative provides athletes a career after sports. But these budding sports entrepreneurs are showing that there are alternatives.

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