SINGAPORE: Singaporeans aged 65 and above will be able to use all ActiveSG swimming pools and gyms for free from next month, it was announced on Friday (Mar 6).
"Not forgetting those who are less youthful, we will ensure everyone has opportunities to lead full and active lives," said Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu in her Committee of Supply speech.
"By 2030, 1 in 4 Singaporeans will be at or above the age of 65, and we will have 900,000 seniors. Sports and physical activity allow our seniors to sustain their health and mobility longer, and continue to be engaged in the community," she said.
“From this year, we will make public gyms and swimming pools free for all Singaporeans aged 65 years and above. We will review the age criterion from time to time, in keeping with the trends and life expectancy of Singaporeans."
ActiveSG will also roll out programmes at these pools and gyms to improve the functional fitness of seniors. Existing gyms are also progressively being retrofitted with "senior-friendly" equipment, said the Ministry for Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY). This is expected to be completed by 2026.
Seniors currently pay S$0.50 on weekdays and S$0.60 on weekends (including public holidays) for entry to conventional ActiveSG pools. They pay a S$1.50 entry fee to gyms.
In addition, there will be three new Sport-in-Precinct facilities at Sengkang South, Pasir Ris East and Dover, said Ms Fu.
This move will achieve the ministry's target of 20 Sport-in-Precinct projects by this year.
In addition, another five ActiveSG facilities, ranging from swimming complexes in Ang Mo Kio, to sport centres in Yishun will be rejuvenated, she added.
As part of a partnership with the Ministry of Education, more than 90 per cent of suitable government primary and secondary schools’ sports halls and fields have been converted for public use under the Dual Use Scheme, Ms Fu noted.
"We will work with MOE to convert all remaining suitable facilities by this time next year. These initiatives will help realise our aspiration of having sports and recreational facilities within a 10-minute walk from our homes," she said.