may be known for its food-lovers and shopaholics but improving its
people’s fitness levels is high on the government’s
agenda. Not the most physically dynamic of nations, competitive
sports are not prominent and the nation’s favourite
sports are listed as swimming and jogging,
although there is a rising popularity in hockey
and tennis. Every year, the Singapore
Sports Council (telephone: 6345 7111; fax: 6340 9537) organises
lifestyle activities designed for maximum participation, including
national swimming and cycling events. SPEX21 is
a new initiative to encourage high-performance athletes in badminton,
soccer, swimming and table
There are more than a dozen stadiums and there are facilities at
every level across the island. Swimming is a favourite
pastime, with pools in many residential areas; gyms
are equipped with the latest in fitness technology. One of Singapore’s
major sporting attractions is its many acres of
golf courses and, as an island, there are lots
of opportunities for water sports.
The national soccer team, the S-league,
play at home at the National Stadium, Kallang. English football
is very popular with regular televised Premier League and European
matches. Liverpool and Manchester United have even toured Singapore
over the past years to play against local sides. Every year sees
a fiesta of international rugby, at the Rugby
7’s held in April also at the National Stadium.
The Singapore Indoor Stadium, also at Kallang,
is home to the Heineken Tennis Open tournament.
One of the more popular spectator sports is horseracing,
conducted all year round at the Singapore
Turf Club (telephone: 6879 1000; fax: 6879 1010) at Kranji,
provides the only legal outlet for gambling. Highlights are the
Queen Elizabeth Cup in August and the lucrative
Singapore Airlines International Cup in May. There
is a dress code even in the public stands, no shorts allowed and
a smart-casual look for the Hibiscus Room,
which allows visitors.
Rugby and cricket
matches are held on the Padang, set in
the colonial heart of Singapore. This is the home of the Singapore
Cricket Club and is a members only club,
although it is possible to watch matches away from the clubhouse.
There are other cricket grounds around the city and league matches
are held at weekends.
Information on events and venues are available through Singapore
Sports Council (see above), that offers an online sports
facilities reservation system.
Ten-pin bowling is popular with over 30 bowling alleys in the city.
The Singapore Ten-pin Bowling Congress (telephone:
6440 7388; fax: 6440 7488) can give details of venues. Most are
open 9.00 am to 2.00 am; with some open 24 hours at weekends.
Centres include Ray
Wilson California Fitness Center, Grange Road (telephone: 6834
2100; fax: 6834 2122), and Takashimaya
Fitness Plus, Ngee Ann City (telephone: 6739 9314; fax: 6735
7203; email: email@example.com).
Gym facilities are available at all the major hotels.
The better courses include the Raffles Country Club
(two 18-hole courses), the Sentosa Golf & Country Club
(two 18-hole championship courses), the SFRA Resort &
Country Club (three 9-hole courses), and the Tanal
Merah Country Club (two 18-hole championship courses).
Opening Hours: Generally 7.00 am to 7.00
pm (with some stay open until 11.00 pm).
Some clubs allow non-members with a special fee of S$50 to S$200;
however, they strictly keep the space for members at weekends. Many
clubs also ask visitors to hold a handicap or proficiency certificate
from a recognised club.
Canoeing is one of the more
popular water sports and there are many operators hiring out canoes
at Changi point, East Coast and
Many scuba diving schools that provides PADI or
NAUI recognised courses are also available as well as day and night
diving in nearby Malaysia.
and sailing is popular on the eastern coast, where
there are most facilities.
For those who love water-skiing, the better locations
are Kallang River (a site for previous world championships)
is a year-round sport here. Boats and equipment are not expensive
to hire and are available at the Jardine Steps,
Many offshore islands (see Resorts & Excursions section) and
locals drive over to Malaysia to enjoy the water sports off the
East coast (see the Malaysia section) are easily reached from Singapore.
Singapore is linked by many cycle paths and bikes are available
to hire in public parks, at East Coast Park, Sentosa,
Pasir Ris and Bishan. Mountain
or dirt-biking is particularly popular in Pulau
The Singapore Turf Club hosts all horseracing meetings.
Tourists must adhere to a strict dress code. Races are available
on Saturday and Sunday only. The first race is at 1.30 pm while
the last race is at 6.00 pm. The Singapore Polo Club has polo matches.
All visitors are welcome to the sports associations and clubs. Badminton
is played throughout the year and almost a national sport. Cricket
is played at the Singapore Cricket Club which is
one of the oldest sporting associations in the world, and since
it has a sports ground, many sports such as hockey, rugby, soccer
and tennis are played here.