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Satellite Centres for Sports Development in Singapore Begin Operations


Following the recent $2.5 million pledge by the government to develop Satellite Centres for Sports Development (SCSDs), the Singapore Sports Council's (SSC) Let's Play movement was given further impetus with the commencement of operations of three SCSDs.

Targeted at youths aged six to 16, the SCSDs serve as the launching pad for them to learn new sports early in life in a safe, fun and friendly community setting. These sports include those being featured at the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games (YOG). The SCSDs are being established in existing sports facilities such as schools, sports and recreation centres as well as community centres located in the heartlands. They will be coordinated and managed by the respective National Sports Associations of each sport.

At the Marina Barrage, which is the site of the SCSD for Sailing, the Singapore Sailing Federation (SingaporeSailing) lined up an armada of nearly 20 sailboats to offer to the public free 20-30 minute rides around the Marina Reservoir. This was to encourage potential future sailors to take up the sport. Nearly 50 underprivileged children from homes / centres such as Boys' Town and Muhammadiyah Welfare Home were also brought on a tour of the Marina Barrage.

Young water enthusiasts who wish to take their interest in sailing one step further can sign up for sailing courses organised by SingaporeSailing. From 4 July onwards, SingaporeSailing will be conducting their "SailFun" courses at the Marina Barrage.

"Singaporeans have heard of the many successful overseas exploits of our sailors. This is an opportunity for Singaporeans to try the sport out for themselves. Perhaps this experience may be the start of a lifelong passion, be it in competitive or recreational sailing," said Dr Ben Tan, President, Singapore Sailing Federation. "With Singapore being an island, it would only be natural that more Singaporeans have easy access to the sport, and SingaporeSailing would be happy to facilitate that."

The SCSD for Wrestling also took off with five youths being introduced to the sport of Freestyle Wrestling. The training model was devised by two-time Olympic and six-time World Champion wrestler, Sergei Beloglazov. The SCSD for Wrestling is located at the National Wrestling Centre / Asian Wrestling School at Upper Aljunied Road.

The SCSD for Basketball, located at Bukit Panjang Government High Indoor Sports Hall, commenced operations on 4 July 2010.

"We want to make all sports available to all youths in Singapore, including those who would otherwise not have the opportunity or resources to participate in sports," said Mr Bob Gambardella, Chief of Sports Development Group, Singapore Sports Council. He added, "The SCSDs will provide these such opportunities and resources for our youths to learn and play sports. This is synergistic with our Let’s Play movement, which seeks to encourage everyone in Singapore to embrace sports as a lifestyle choice. We are confident that the SCSDs will build on the legacy of the YOG by championing sporting values such as confidence, sportsmanship, respect and other lessons gained from an active sporting lifestyle." 

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