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Delivering sports lifestyle to your doorstep

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Singaporeans can look forward to the Sports Hub, slated to be ready in early 2014, home to international sports events, and lifestyle and entertainment offerings (artist impression/Singapore Sports Hub). 

Introducing Singapore's Network of Sports Destinations

Singapore, 15 March 2013 - Jostling for playing space with a dozen others at your neighbourhood basketball court could soon be a thing of the past thanks to the Sports Facilities Master Plan (SFMP), part of the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth’s (MCCY) investment in infrastructure and sports programming introduced at the Committee of Supply (COS) debate today, and a key recommendation under Vision 2030.

Over the next 20 years, Singaporeans can look forward to having quality sports facilities within easy reach of their neighbourhoods, be it indulging in their favourite sports activities with family or chilling out with friends in a new island-wide network of sports spaces and lifestyle destinations.

While existing facilities at Sports and Recreational Centres (SRCs) have been complemented by the opening of 138 school fields and 60 indoor sports halls through Singapore Sports Council’s (SSC) partnership with the Ministry of Education (MOE)’s in the Dual Use Scheme in 2007, there remains a shortage of accessible sports spaces given the high demand for recreational sports in the heartlands.

Speaking at the COS 2013 debate, Mr Lawrence Wong, Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth identified the enhancement of sports facilities as a key strategy to cater to the sporting needs of the community. This, he said, would come under four tiers:

An aerial view of the Singapore Sports Hub (artist impression/Singapore Sports Hub).

Singapore Sports Hub

The Sports Hub will be an integrated lifestyle hub that provides an ecosystem for hosting world-class sports and entertainment events, the training of athletes, and community participation and support. Estimated to be completed by the first quarter of 2014, the Sports Hub will provide players and spectators with top-class facilities.

These include a 55,000-seat National Stadium with a retractable roof and the world’s largest dome, an existing 10,000-seat Singapore Indoor Stadium, a top-flight aquatics centre, an outdoor water sports centre, a multi-purpose sports arena, and numerous sports facilities such as rock climbing wall, basketball courts, covered jogging track, and shopping and entertainment offerings.

Regional Sports Centres (RSCs)

Regional Sports Centres (RSCs) will make up the second tier of the 4-tiered master plan, with the upcoming Tampines Town Hub cited as Singapore’s first RSC in the East side of the island. The Tampines Town Hub is an integrated lifestyle destination that caters to various sporting and recreational interests, while the remaining RSCs that serve other regions of Singapore will become focal points for the development of sports programmes, activities and events in the years to come.

These include a suite of sports facilities that are integrated with other recreational amenities, from indoor sports halls for team sports to multi-pool swimming complexes, football stadiums, and popular facilities for tennis and futsal. The undoubted highlights of the RSCs are added seating capacities and enhanced events presentation capabilities such as giant LED screens that would make the centres capable of hosting national and international level competitions, bringing overall spectator experience to an entirely new level.

Town Sports and Recreational Centres (TSRCs)

Not only can sports enthusiasts participate in games at regional centres, but town areas can expect to see sports facilities made readily available. Town Sports and Recreational Centres (TSRCs) will be situated at the heart of HDB towns, with these largely being re-developed from existing SRCs.

While the existing facilities at SRCs tend to cater more to the individual, new TSRCs will have facilities that are clustered together and have more attractive features such as interactive water pools and other leisure options for vibrancy and to better serve as social and recreational spaces for residents.

The newest SRC in Pasir Ris was cited as a good example of what residents can expect to see in their town areas in future. Spanning over 1.4 hectares in size, the Pasir Ris SRC has all the attractive features of a swimming complex with two pools, a multi-purpose indoor sports hall with a viewing gallery, a gymnasium, two tennis courts, a 5-aside roof-top soccer court and a dance studio.

Community Play Fields

Suitable spaces for community sports and recreational facilities will be identified by multiple government partners and agencies, with the aim of creating a liveable and vibrant environment that allows for the co-existence of sports and entertainment. This makes up the fourth tier of the master plan.

An example of space that has been creatively utilised to this effect is the ice rink at JCube, Singapore’s first Olympic sized ice skating rink. Opened in August 2012 by SSC, the rink is conveniently located within the JCube shopping mall and offers a unique experience for regular skaters, begineers who wish to learn to skate, and others to bond with their families. It also allows visitors to enjoy watching the action on ice while they shop and dine, making it a terrific lifestyle choice.

It may still take a few years before we can exploit the full range of sporting facilities available, but an inescapable certainty is that sports will be brought closer to our homes than ever before. And while the inconvenience of traveling to a crowded gym, or a preference to socialise with friends after a hard day’s work may have been valid reasons for us to skip our exercise routine in the past, we will have to think of much better excuses very soon. Ones that don’t go beyond our doorsteps.

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