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Last updated : Nov 2009
 
Singapore Sports
Singapore Sports - TravelPuppy.com
Singapore 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 tennis.

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.

Bowling

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.

Fitness centres

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: fitplus@pacific.net.sg). Gym facilities are available at all the major hotels.

Golf

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.

Water sports

Canoeing is one of the more popular water sports and there are many operators hiring out canoes at Changi point, East Coast and Sentosa Island.

Many scuba diving schools that provides PADI or NAUI recognised courses are also available as well as day and night diving in nearby Malaysia.

Windsurfing 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) and Sembawang.

Fishing is a year-round sport here. Boats and equipment are not expensive to hire and are available at the Jardine Steps, Changi Park.

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.

Cycling

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 Ubin.

Horseracing

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.

Other

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.
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