After 3 years, S'pore gets new Badminton Hall

THERE is a brand-new, state-of-the-art Singapore Badminton Hall, more than three years after the original building closed down when its lease was up in January 2008.

The new hall is situated not at the old Guillemard Road address, but nearby - between lorongs 21 and 23 in Geylang.

Occupying a total area of 2,500 sq m, it has 14 Olympic-standard courts, permanent seating for 400 spectators, hospitality and VIP viewing galleries, a gymnasium and 14 dormitory rooms for centralised training camps.

In fact, the national-team shuttlers bound for Nov 11-22's South-east Asia Games in Jakarta are housed there for most of this week, as they undergo a six-day centralised training camp to prepare for the Games.

The hall is divided into two sections - a Premier section comprising six courts in an air-conditioned complex, and a Deluxe section of eight courts without air-conditioning. There is space to erect another 1,400 spectator seats for competitions.

The $1.5-million venue was built without any government funding, thanks to a bunch of badminton enthusiasts led by Mr Richard Tan, managing director of Arina Hogan Builders, which helps set up the lighting system at the Marina Bay Formula One circuit.

Said Mr Tan: "We were upset that the historic hall was closed, and we wanted the sport to continue to be relevant here.

"Hopefully, these facilities can inspire more people to pick up the sport and lift Singapore badminton back to its old glories."

In the coming months, the hall will host several national tournaments: the Singapore Badminton Association National Age-group Doubles Championships, the Pilot Pen National Age-group Singles Championships and the Li-Ning Singapore Youth Invitational Series.

It is also open to the public for booking of its courts.

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