SINGAPORE – Several national sports federations leaders have welcomed the news that Sport Singapore (SportSG) will take over the leadership of the Singapore Sports Hub.
Singapore Rugby Union President Terence Khoo believes that “the sport will take center stage again” with the national agency taking control of the multi-purpose facility.
He said: “Sports Hub had multiple objectives but SportSG and MCCY (Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth) are very clear on their objectives – sport and Singaporeans.
“It’s less about money and that bodes well.”
The former national rugby captain now hopes the facility can be used to host more community-level events such as the National School Games (NSG). Having these in the hub will play an important role in creating more vibrancy around the venue and could also play an important role in motivating youth to play sports.
The 51-year-old said: “The venues where we play leave very lasting and beautiful memories, they spur us on and encourage us to continue with the sport.”
Singapore Swimming Association (SSA) President Lee Kok Choy also endorsed the move, saying it is a “good opportunity to work together for the good of the nation from the community to the elite and make full use of the facilities we have “. .
Mr. Lee acknowledged that SSA was a “rather privileged tenant” since the OCBC Aquatic Center at the Sports Hub houses its office, national training facility and competition venue.
However, he also noted that complications with the current structure also limited the SSA’s use of the facility at times as the association had to watch over costs, which resulted in some events being held in other locations.
For example, hosting an event at the OCBC Aquatic Center beyond the allotted number of days would cost more as the rental price would be different for the additional period. There were also some additional costs as the events there had to use the services of the sports center’s subcontractors, such as caterers.
“We hope to discuss with SportSG where it makes sense for the country to do so without the issue of additional costs,” Mr Lee said.
Singapore Athletics (SA) President Lien Choong Luen believes that under SportSG’s leadership, more events are very likely to be held at the Sports Hub, which he described as the “pinnacle” of local sports.
“We have 70 stadiums in Singapore, but the Sports Hub is the pinnacle, which makes it special,” he explained. “You know you’re at a serious big event… It’s probably the highlight for a lot of athletes.”
He also looks forward to “more integrated and coordinated programming that will allow us to capitalize on the track.”
He noted that the 2016 Asia Masters Athletics Championships in Singapore almost didn’t take place at the National Stadium because the advertised four-day rent of $620,000 was twice the event’s entire budget. The meeting eventually took place there, but only after the rental costs were reduced with the help of the authorities.