SSC Gears Up for Sports Hub & Other Major Events

Singapore , 01 Nov 2007

Singapore Sports Council Gears Up for Sports Hub & Other Major Sports Programmes & Events
Singapore, 23 October 2007- The Singapore Sports Council announced today a series of initiatives it will undertake to prepare for the Sports Hub and other major sports programmes and events over the next 5 years.

2 Speaking at a press conference to release its annual report, Singapore Sports Council Chairman Alex Chan said: "In fiscal year 2006 (FY06), the triple engines of growth - sports participation, excellence and industry - continued to roar with achievement. Not only are we on target, we are surpassing expectations. Three groundbreaking developments in the past year will drive Singapore sport into new realms over the next 10 to 15 years: Sports Hub, Formula One and the push to develop a sports culture. We saw Singapore's historical best performance at the Asian Games; record-breaking participation numbers at our Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon; and we launched the pilot implementation of outcome-based funding for National Sports Associations. On the back of these achievements, SSC will focus on developing the people factor to promote sports participation, industry and excellence going forward. SSC will look into initiatives to create jobs and enhance manpower capabilities in the sports industry; enhance the customer experience through better product offerings; and support elite athletes through enhanced sports medicine & sports science capabilities to drive sports excellence."

Creating Jobs & Enhancing Manpower Capabilities

3 Singapore will be hosting many mega sports events over the next 10 years. Formula
One will start next year for five years, Singapore will host the South East Asian Games in 2013, Singapore is bidding to host the 2010 Youth Olympic Games and we will see more motor sports events coming to town with the recent announcement to build a permanent racetrack in Changi. And once the Sports Hub is up and running, even more mega sports events are expected.

4 Said Oon Jin Teik, Chief Executive of the Singapore Sports Council: "To stage successful international and local sports events successfully, we need a ready pool of people - volunteers, cheerleaders, qualified coaches, specialized technical experts, media broadcasters, sports administrators - the list goes on. And the work to prepare us for the future has to start now."

5 SSC is adopting a multi prong approach to enhance manpower capabilities in the sports industry.

6 For a start, SSC together with Workforce Development Agency (WDA) have commissioned a study that define the universe of jobs within the sports industry, establish current and future manpower requirements in view of upcoming developments, identify gaps within the industry, as well as map out a manpower industry development plan to ensure Singapore has the right human resources to meet future demand in the sports industry. The study is expected to be completed next month and the results of the study will be shared with industry members thereafter. Industry members will also be engaged to prioritize on the various recommendations and to determine how best to map and accredit the various upgrading programs into the National Work Skills Qualification System. Follow-up on the Implementation of the prioritize plans will commence by the first quarter of 2008.

7 In the meantime, SSC has also ramped up efforts to build manpower capabilities by increasing the number of post-secondary sports-related courses available, establishing a volunteer management scheme; and establishing a systematic development plan for technical officials.

8 Institutes of Higher Learning (IHL) are offering more sports related courses to meet the growing demand for sports manpower. Only one institution offered four sports related courses in 1999 compared to 10 institutions offering 34 sports related courses today. These IHLs offer a wide range of certificates, diplomas, undergraduate and graduate courses in areas such as sports fitness, personal training, strength and conditioning, coaching, sports medicine and sports science, applied psychology as well as sports and leisure management. SSC will continue to work with the IHLs to increase the number of post-secondary sports-related courses available in order to meet the growing sports industry manpower needs.

9 SSC will also putting in place a Volunteer Management Scheme that aims to recruit, retain and reward sports volunteers by engaging them in a meaningful way and giving them a sense of fulfillment. SSC currently has a database of about 2700 volunteers and it aims to ramp this number up to 5000 by 2013 in time for the South East Asian Games to be held in Singapore. If Singapore wins the bid to host the Youth Olympic Games, we will ramp up our efforts to ensure we have the estimated 7000 volunteers required for the event.

10 Working with the NSAs, SSC will systematically develop the capabilities of Singapore's technical officials through education and training, sustainable employment and recognition.

11 Education and training programmes will identify and address competency gaps such as psychology of officiating, personal fitness development, managing professional responsibilities, and technical knowledge. Arrangements will also be made for technical officials to go on attachments and exchange programmes with our counterparts in countries like Malaysia, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand.

12 If done right, Singapore could produce more world-class officials like Singapore world Cup referee Shamsul Maidin.

Enhancing Product Offerings & Providing New Customer Experiences

13 Sports as Entertainment will be a key direction in how SSC brings about new demand. To achieve this, SSC will be reviewing the way it develops and organizes its sports events and develops its sports facilities. This will ensure a great customer experience and ultimately promote interest in sports.

Sports Events to Take on a Fun Element

14 While SSC has a good track record in organizing and facilitating sport events, it will now factor in more entertainment into its events in the future. By making sports events more appealing and attractive, higher participation rates and large spectatorship will follow naturally.

15 To make this a reality, SSC will look into three areas:

- Create awareness on the benefits of sports entertainment amongst NSAs and sports events organizers
- Consider the sports entertainment component when it evaluates funding requests under its Sports Promotion Participation Programme (SPPP)
- Set aside more budget at SSC's events to enhance the sports entertainment component

16 SSC will create awareness and work with service providers to provide training courses to understand and better incorporate the entertainment component into their sports events.

17 While participation figures will continue to be an important criteria in evaluating applications for SPPP funding, SSC will now also want service providers to factor in the entertainment component where feasible.

18 For SSC organized events, more budgets will be set aside to spruce up the entertainment component. SSC will also set up special teams within organizing committees to specifically look into creating an enjoyable atmosphere at its sports events so that people will want to stay longer. "This is similar to what the National Basketball Association does in America. The team members are specially trained to look into in-arena entertainment so that the customer is entertained not only during the match and inside the basketball court, but before and after the match around the court and the fringes of the arena," added Oon.

19 The SSC will also be working closely with the People's Association to help promote sports participation to the masses through its wide community network. With more sports participation at the grassroots level, we will see more demand for sports events. We have formed a joint committee in early October 2007 to look into developing strategies to further develop sports participation at the community level. Details will be made available later.

20 "By the time the Sports Hub is up and when Singapore hosts major events such as the SEA Games and possibly the YOG, we envisage people in Singapore wanting to come for more sports events and enjoying themselves either as spectators or participants. Should Singapore win the bid to host the Youth Olympic Games, the SSC is committed to work with the various agencies to ensure a great games venue experience for all the sports," added Oon.

New Look All-in-One Sports Facilities to Promote Sports Participation

21 To encourage greater participation in sports at its facilities, SSC will look at designing and developing all-in-one facilities for sports, entertainment and leisure pursuits. A good example is SSC's Jurong West Sports & Recreation Centre, which was officially opened last Sunday.

22 SSC's sports facilities will spot more innovative designs to make it more appealing and encourage greater sports participation, spectatorship and enjoyment. An example is SSC's future Bukit Panjang sports and community centre, which spots a unique, design and is co-located with a community centre and situated next to a water body.

23 This new approach in designing our facilities complements the upgrading plans that will take place in preparation for the YOG should Singapore win the bid. We want spectators and participants to have great facilities that will enhance their viewing and participation experience.

Supporting Elite Athletes Through Enhanced Sports Medicine & Sports Science Capabilities to Drive Sports Excellence

24 Sport Medicine and Sports Science (SMSS) is a critical component in Singapore's strategy to achieve sporting glory on the world stage. Given Singapore's small size and limited pool of resources, SSC will be working with the NSAs to make full use of the competitive advantage that SMSS can deliver.

25 Said Oon: "SSC will be reviewing and enhancing its SMSS capabilities by building a new SMSS facility at our new headquarters and integrating our SMSS work processes surrounding the athletes and coaches. At the end of the day, our elite athletes will benefit from this enhancement. In the immediate term, athletes preparing for upcoming major multi sport games such as the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2010 YOG will enjoy the benefits of this integrated approach and the new facility."


ยท ANNEX A - List of institutions offering sports courses in Singapore

For media inquiries, please contact:

Alvin Hang
Deputy Director (Group Communications)
Singapore Sports Council
DID: 6340 9590, Mobile: 9222 1010

Marilyn Ho
Director (Group Communications)
Singapore Sports Council
DID: 6340 9591, Mobile: 9753 7976

About SSC
The Singapore Sports Council (SSC) is Singapore's lead agency tasked with developing sports in Singapore. Our vision is to create a Sporting Singapore where sport is a way of life. SSC aims to develop sports champions and create enjoyable sporting experiences for Singapore through the three strategic thrusts of cultivating a sporting culture, achieving sports excellence and creating a vibrant sports industry. Formed on 1 October 1973, SSC is a statutory board under the purview of the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports. SSC's address on the World Wide Web:

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