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S'pore to compete in World University Floorball Championship

For the first time, Singapore teams will be competing in the World University Floorball Championship.

SINGAPORE: For the first time, Singapore teams will be competing in the World University Floorball Championship.

This comes as Singapore plays host to the 6th edition of the tournament which starts on June 18 at the Singapore Sports Hub.

A strong Singapore women's side has been assembled -- 11 out of the 20-member squad are national players.

With such a line-up, Singapore is targeting to top Group B by beating rivals Malaysia and Japan.

Defending women's champion Sweden along with Finland and Switzerland make up Group A.

Should Singapore finish as Group B leaders, they can compete against the more experienced European teams for a spot in the finals or a third place play-off.

Jaime Cheong, head coach of the Singapore women’s team, said: "I believe in sports science and that is where I am headed towards, very sports science-based coaching, so that we can have a competitive edge over the other teams, hopefully.

“We are working on power training because we know that we are smaller in size against the Europeans. The Japanese are very fast so we need to counter that as well."

Singapore's tropical weather is another plus for the local teams, as the Europeans are not used to playing under such conditions.

A tougher fight awaits the Singapore men's team, where 10 teams are challenging for honours.

Host Singapore will be up against Russia, South Korea, Malaysia and China in Group B.

Like their female counterparts, they are aiming to top their group.

Glendon Phua, captain of the Singapore men’s team, said: "So we are hoping through this competition, even though the odds may be against us, we will just give our best and after all the hard training we hope we can actually give a fruitful performance and secure possibly a podium finish in the competition."

The championship would be a good tune-up for the 2015 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, where the sport is making a debut.

Over 10 years, floorball has grown from a niche activity to one that is played as a mainstream sport.

Competitions like the World University Floorball Championship and next year's SEA Games are crucial in providing exposure and helping Singapore’s players improve their skills.

Beyond that, such competitions also help groom local officials like referees and coaches. 

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