Sports Hub under PPP model didn’t do enough for community activities: Edwin Tong

·Senior Editor
·3-min read
Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong speaking on the Singapore Sports Hub and the Kallang Alive project in Parliament on 1 August 2022. (SCREENSHOT and PHOTO: Ministry of Communications and Information's YouTube channel and Sport Singapore)
Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong speaking on the Singapore Sports Hub and the Kallang Alive project in Parliament on 1 August 2022. (SCREENSHOT and PHOTO: Ministry of Communications and Information's YouTube channel and Sport Singapore)

SINGAPORE — The Singapore Sports Hub team under the public-private partnership (PPP) model have fallen short in promoting and enhancing the vibrancy of community sports and lifestyle activities at their premises, said Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong on Monday (1 August).

Speaking in Parliament to deliver his Minister Statement, Tong cited several examples of the shortcomings of the consortium SportsHub Pte Ltd (SHPL), such as the quality and volume of its calendar of events, which he said were below the government’s expectations.

“We wanted to see SHPL invest in the creation of their own new event intellectual properties and building on existing event properties, but these did not come to fruition,” Tong said.

Apart from the Super Rugby event from 2016 to 2019, SHPL was not able to secure any marquee sport events at the Sports Hub on a multi-year basis, Tong said. As the Sports Hub is a world-class sporting facility, international marquee events are important, he added.

His comments come after national sports agency Sport Singapore (SportSG) and and SHPL amicably terminated their partnership in June, with the government taking over the ownership of the Sports Hub from 9 December.

Tong told the House that there should have been more community participation around the Sports Hub, with the sporting community from the grassroots or schools having more access to its facilities.

While such programmes will not likely result in any or much commercial return, there is an “intrinsic social value” in realising the aspirations of young athletes to play in the National Stadium, according to Tong.

“This is where the profit-driven model of the SHPL consortium, which had worked well in the infrastructure phase of the project, was not sufficiently aligned in the current phase of the project,” Tong said.

One key reason for the government taking over of the Sports Hub is to achieve greater integration with the broader plans of Kallang Alive, an 89-hectare site along Kallang River and Kallang Basin that will become a vibrant sport, entertainment and lifestyle precinct by 2030.

Going forward, the management of the Sports Hub will plan more activities for the young and old at the venue and National Stadium, Tong said.

Among them, children who have joined the ActiveSG Football Academies can participate in the year-end football tournament at the National Stadium. There will also be more National School Games at the Sports Hub, and mass events such as GetActive! Singapore for the seniors to participate at the venue’s community spaces.

“We want to make it a community icon that Singaporeans can identify with, feel a part of, in their social or sporting activities,” Tong added.

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