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ActiveSG targets corporate Singapore

SINGAPORE — Buoyed by the public response to the launch of ActiveSG, Sport Singapore is now planning to get companies involved, with a corporate membership programme expected to be rolled out by year-end.

More than 330,000 people have signed up for membership since the launch of the ActiveSG scheme on April 26. TODAY FILE PHOTO

More than 330,000 people have signed up for membership since the launch of the ActiveSG scheme on April 26. TODAY FILE PHOTO

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SINGAPORE — Buoyed by the public response to the launch of ActiveSG, Sport Singapore is now planning to get companies involved, with a corporate membership programme expected to be rolled out by year-end.

More than 330,000 people have signed up for membership since the launch of the ActiveSG scheme — the national movement to get Singaporeans to stay active and keep fit — on April 26.

To bring companies on board, Sport Singapore also hopes to introduce corporate sports leagues, similar to Singapore Business Houses Leagues that ran from the 1930s to the mid-90s.

Sport Singapore chief executive officer Lim Teck Yin said while details are still being finalised, the plan is to have a membership programme that allows companies to buy sports packages for their staff to utilise at Sport Singapore’s 21 sports and recreation centres islandwide.

Companies which sign up will be rewarded with extra credits based on the packages that they buy. They will also be able to use the credits to participate in the corporate leagues for sports such as football, table tennis, badminton, swimming and track and field.

“We know we had about 13.9 million visitors (to our facilities) last year. We should be able to get to 500,000 (sign-ups) in a matter of months,” said Mr Lim yesterday at Manulife Singapore’s sponsorship announcement for national water safety programme SwimSafer. “Our value proposition is the facilities network around the island, so if your company has employees scattered everywhere, they can reach out to the different zones.”

As for corporate sports leagues, their size will depend on demand, said Mr Lim. “The Corporate Community Games run by (a private) company last year had more than 40 companies taking part, and we know the number of 50 to 100 is a starting point,” he added.

The Singapore Business Houses Leagues, hugely popular in the ’70s and ’80s, drew participation from leading companies, such as Singapore Airlines, Fraser and Neave, Sime Darby, Cold Storage and OCBC for sports such as football, athletics and squash.

Former national footballer Ho Kwang Hock, who represented trading firm Jebsen & Jessen back then, alongside ex-Lions Syed Mutalib and S Rajagopal, was happy to hear that corporate sports leagues were being revived. “When we played at Farrer Park, we had easily over 1,000 people lining up around the open field to watch,” said Mr Ho, 59.

National middle- and long-distance coach Ghana Segeran, who helmed Singapore Airlines’ athletics team in the ’80s, added: “It really created some good rivalry, but brought us together ... It will bring back the community and sporting spirit to Singapore.”

Yesterday’s sponsorship announcement at the Jalan Besar Stadium also saw Manulife Singapore committing about S$1 million to SwimSafer, an initiative to provide children with water safety knowledge and water survival skills. The partnership will see special skits and souvenirs produced to complement about 40 outreach programmes conducted by ActiveSG in sports centres and schools.

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