WEEKLY ROUND-UP: Sports happenings in Singapore (18-24 Sept)

Lion City Sailors at the AFC Champs League, Yellow Ribbon Prison Run and Great Green Run, Singapore Squash Open to return

Lion City Sailors's Maxime Lestienne (centre) in action against Bangkok United in their AFC Champions League match at the Jalan Besar Stadium. (PHOTO: Lion City Sailors)
Lion City Sailors's Maxime Lestienne (centre) in action against Bangkok United in their AFC Champions League match at the Jalan Besar Stadium. (PHOTO: Lion City Sailors)

SINGAPORE — Here is a round-up of sports events and developments in Singapore in the past week (18 to 24 September):

Sailors fall to 1-2 defeat in AFC Champions League

The Lion City Sailors opened their AFC Champions League campaign with a 1-2 defeat by Bangkok United at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Wednesday (20 September).

Singapore President Tharman Shanmugaratnam attended the match, together with 2,927 fans, but the Sailors were unable to get the victory despite taking a first-half lead.

Head coach Aleksandar Rankovic trotted out a defensive formation to start the match, and it succeeded in frustrating the attacks of Bangkok United, the current Thai League 1 leaders. The Sailors even snatched the lead against the run of play, when Diego Lopes smashed home a half-volley in the 25th minute.

However, Bangkok emerged the better side after half-time, and took the lead in the 51st minute when captain Everton Saturnino headed home unchallenged from a corner.

Thai international Thitipan Puangjan settled the match in the 62nd minute with a superb long-range shot that left Sailors goalkeeper Zharfan Rohaizad rooted to the spot.

Albirex draw, Tampines win big in Singapore Cup

Reigning Singapore Premier League champions Albirex Niigata (Singapore) could only draw 1-1 with Brunei's DPMM FC in their opening Singapore Cup group-stage match at Jalan Besar Stadium on Sunday (24 September).

The White Swans fell behind when DPMM's Azwan Ali Rahman scored in the 13th minute, but their top scorer Seia Kunori equalised in the 57th minute.

At Our Tampines Hub, Tampines Rovers got off to a perfect start to their Singapore Cup campaign, thrashing the Young Lions 5-0 in their Group A match.

All the goals came in the second half, as Shuya Yamashita (50th), Yasir Hanapi (64th), Boris Kopitovic (82nd) and Faris Ramli (85th and 92nd minutes) piled on the misery for the Young Lions.

FAS president Bernard Tan outlines 3 focus areas

Newly-elected Football Association of Singapore (FAS) president Bernard Tan addressed the 41st FAS Congress at Sheraton Towers on Saturday (23 September), and outlined three focus areas for the future of Singaporean football.

The three areas are:

  • Private sector engagement and sustainable funding: Tan said that more substantial investments are required, and highlighted the importance of funding key positions within the FAS, particularly quality head coaches. He expressed the need to attract private investors and possibly create more privatised clubs in the Singapore Premier League.

  • Alignment of interests and goals across the ecosystem: Tan said that it is vital that stakeholders such as local clubs, academies, schools and the FAS collaborate and cooperate with one another. Clubs, academies and schools producing elite youth players are encouraged to consider their contributions to Singaporean football as a badge of honour and doing their part for the national cause.

  • Tackling infrastructure challenges for player development: Tan said the impending increase in activity under the "Unleash the Roar" national project will create higher demand for playing fields. He called upon wider stakeholders to actively participate in initiatives aimed at addressing this challenge.

Tickets for Lions' World Cup qualifier against Guam on sale

Tickets for the Singapore national football team's 2026 World Cup qualifying match against Guam at the National Stadium on 12 October are on sale at the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) website as well as Sistic.

An early-bird promotion period will run till 1 October, when fans can purchase adult tickets at a discounted price of $15 each, while concession tickets will be available for $6 each. After the promotion, ticket prices will revert to $20 for adults and $10 for concessions.

Each person is allowed to purchase a maximum of 12 tickets per transaction, across any category. Match tickets may also be purchased onsite at the Singapore Sports Hub box office on match day, subject to availability.

Fans can buy the current national-team jersey as well as the 2020 jersey at a discounted price of $115 from the official FAS e-Store by using the promo code “ROAR23” when making payment. Each jersey purchase also entitles fans to two complimentary adult match tickets for the match against Guam.

Singapore's match against Guam at National Stadium is the first leg of their World Cup first-round qualifier. The return leg will take place on 17 October in Guam, and the winner over the two legs will enter Group C of the second round with China, South Korea and Thailand.

Over 6,500 take part in Yellow Ribbon Prison Run

Over 6,500 participants took part in the 14th edition of the Yellow Ribbon Prison Run (TRPR) on Sunday (24 September), which was flagged off by Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, flagged off the 14

The event comprised two categories – a 10km competitive run and a 6km non-competitive run. Both runs started at Farnborough Road and ended at the Old Changi Prison Wall, where a carnival was held for participants to learn about the various support for inmates and ex-offenders in their journey towards rehabilitation.

Contributing to the Yellow Ribbon cause, 137 inmates showed their determination for change by running 6km within prisons to help raise funds. Corporate donors had pledged $10 for every 1km completed by the inmates, and it raised a total of $8,220 which would go towards supporting ex-offenders and their families.

The YRPR has raised a total of $305,625 so far, and this will be used to support the rehabilitation and reintegration programmes for inmates, ex-offenders and their family.

Over 2,000 runners took part in the inaugural Great Green Run at Marina Barrage. (PHOTO: Great Green Run)
Over 2,000 runners took part in the inaugural Great Green Run at Marina Barrage. (PHOTO: Great Green Run)

Inaugural Great Green Run saw over 2,000 runners

The inaugural Great Green Run - presented by CIMB and jointly organised by TriFactor and Green Bees - saw over 2,000 runners enjoying their runs at the Marina Barrage despite a heavy downpour on Sunday morning (24 September).

In an effort to raise awareness of fashion overconsumption and waste, organisers encouraged participants and corporate partners to donate their unused clothing at the Great Green Run's clothing recycling station, and over 120kg of clothes have been collected so far.

The items will be distributed to the local circular fashion enterprise Cloop after the event and, depending on their condition, some items will be restored and recycled to extend their life cycle, while others will be sold to raise money for charities.

Sports Hub Library to close for good on 12 November

The Sports Hub Library will be ending its services on 12 November, with the current premises set to serve as a space for community activities, as well as major sporting, entertainment and lifestyle events.

The library will transfer a selection of its print and digital material to the National Library Board (NLB), and the selected collection will be made available at the Tampines Regional Library and the National Library.

These titles from topics such as sports and recreation, training and coaching, as well as health and fitness will be available at the Tampines Regional Library as early as March next year, with a total of 20,000 titles available for loan by end October 2024. Additionally, a selection of more than 15,000 print and electronic materials will be made available for reference at the National Library by next year.

Patrons of the Sports Hub Library are advised to return all borrowed books by the loan due date.

Over 10,000 student-athletes recognised at SSSC Colours Award

A total of 10,130 student-athletes across 28 sports received recognition for their sporting achievements and display of good sporting character at the 53rd Singapore Schools Sports Council (SSSC) Colours Award.

The SSSC Best Sportsboy and Best Sportsgirl Awards were presented by national sprinter Shanti Pereira at the Colours Award Presentation at CHIJ St. Theresa’s Convent on Friday (22 September). The event also marked the closing of the National School Games 2023, which saw close to 66,220 student athletes competing from January to August.

Students were awarded based on their sporting performance from 1 September 2022 to 31 August 2023. The awards were presented to:

  • 55 students from 20 schools, who received the SSSC Best Sportsboy Award and SSSC Best Sportsgirl Award;

  • 356 students from 61 schools, who received the SSSC Colours Award (Distinction);

  • 9,719 students from 137 schools, who received the SSSC Colours Award.

Singapore Squash Open men's champion Mohamed ElShorbagy of England (left) in action against Peru's Diego Elias in the men's final. (PHOTO: Marigold Singapore Squash Open)
Singapore Squash Open 2022 men's champion Mohamed ElShorbagy of England (left) in action against Peru's Diego Elias in the men's final. (FILE PHOTO: Singapore Squash Open) (Picasa)

Singapore Squash Open to return in November

The Singapore Squash Open will return to the OCBC Arena from 14 to 19 November, and will see 24 of the world's elite squash players compete for a combined prize money of US$220,000.

The world’s top two men’s players, Ali Farag and Diego Elias, as well as women’s world No.4 Joelle King, have registered for the PSA World Tour Gold event.

King and Britain's Mohamed El Shorbagy emerged as the women’s and men’s champions at last year's Open, and both are set to defend their titles in Singapore.

Marcus Phua, who is part of the four-man squad for the ongoing Hangzhou Asian Games, will be one of the Republic’s wild card entries for the Open. The other wild card will go to Au Yeong Wai Yhann.

Singapore to host Asian Canoe Polo C'ships for 1st time

Singapore will be hosting the biennial Asian Canoe Polo Championships for the first time, from 9 to 12 November at the Marina Bay Waterfront.

This year’s championships will feature teams from seven countries, including Japan, Malaysia and Singapore. Each country will be sending up to four teams – senior men, senior women, U-21 men and U-21 women.

Singapore will be sending a team in each of the categories, with the senior women's team ranked as Asia's top team, and the seniors men's team ranked fourth in Asia. The U-21 men’s and women’s teams secured fourth and third place respectively, in their last Asian Championships appearance in 2017.

The event will also serve as the qualifier for the 2024 ICF World Canoe Polo Championships.

Enhanced app for Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon

This year's Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon (SCSM) will feature an enhanced app powered by Tata Consultancy Service (TCS), which offers participants new features such as connecting with and training alongside other runners as well as participating in challenges wherever they may be.

In addition to providing race updates, transportation tips, race registration and live runner tracking, the new SCSM+ app will support participants as they get into gear for the upcoming run with new functionalities including virtual runs, challenges, as well as the ability to register for weekly training runs leading up to the marathon event from 1 to 3 December.

To celebrate the launch, participants who download the app from now until 2 October will be able to join the TCS Kick-off Virtual Run, where they have the opportunity to win $50 vouchers upon completing a 5km run.

TCS is also bringing back the TCS Corporate Challenge at the SCSM, with the top marathon male and female finishers of the Challenge receiving race entries to the prestigious TCS London Marathon next April.

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