SINGAPORE: With Sport Singapore’s (SportSG) takeover of the Singapore Sports Hub, there are plans to make the venue a “community icon” that is more accessible to the broader community for sports, lifestyle and social uses, SportSG said on Friday (Jun 10).
The move comes as authorities are aiming “to unlock greater potential” from the Sports Hub and take advantage of synergies with the upcoming Kallang Alive mixed-use lifestyle precinct – amid increasing competition from regional sporting venues.
CEO of SportSG, Mr Lim Teck Yin, said that beyond driving a “much stronger affinity” for the venue through greater community use, there will also be greater sports programming for children, youth, families and seniors.
There will also be “pathway programmes that lead to pipeline and elite programmes for Team Singapore”, he said.
“When I talk about pathway programmes for children and youth, I’m really referring to a lot of academies and clubs that we run, that will be able to see many of its programmes and development centres take root here as well.
“In addition, we have a very strong experience in programming and the development of interest groups for sport – be they interest groups for badminton, tennis, table tennis – that will also feature here,” said Mr Lim.
Such interest groups will also help develop “the kind of friendships and social bonds that we want to see”, he added.
In addition, the Sports Hub will be made the home of school sports, with the National School Games’ return to the hub being “a major feature” of future plans, said Mr Lim.
He added that a focus on the younger generation is critical, as the country must be able to provide “that unique Singapore sporting experience to the children and youth, who very much form the bedrock of our sporting future”.
TAKING ADVANTAGE OF SYNERGIES
The takeover will also allow the hub to be more seamlessly integrated into facilities within the Kallang Alive precinct.
There are also operational and commercial synergies to be reaped, such as in Singapore’s ambitions to host major tennis events – for which it is already developing a new tennis centre in Kallang, said Mr Lim.
For instance, hosting such a large-scale event would also require it to rope in its other facilities, such as the Singapore Indoor Stadium and the OCBC Arena, he said.
“The commercial opportunities from that synergy must be harnessed to be able to make the event affordable and commercially viable.
“And we will have that full flexibility to be able to operate across the entire range of logistics, F&B concessions and fringe activities.”
He added that an important facet will be the “development of community play”.
“And in such an event, there will be a strong build-up, for example, of youth tennis, regional tennis competitions, inter-club tennis, as well as if you like, a higher level of professional competition, as and when the event is coming to town.”