Increase in local sports content

SINGAPORE - They may not be household names here but Singaporeans can expect to see more local athletes from sports like floorball, cricket, water polo, and rugby on TV in the coming months.

This, after the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Singapore Sports Council (SSC) and StarHub on Tuesday at Pasir Ris Sports and Recreation Centre.

The three-year MOU, signed by StarHub chief executive officer Tan Tong Hai and SSC CEO Lim Teck Yin, will see an overall increase in local sports content on StarHub's new free-to-air channel SuperSports Arena - available to all Singapore households on 76.25MHz.

SuperSports Arena was previously a complimentary channel for StarHub TV subscribers.

Sports that are scheduled to get airtime in the upcoming months include cricket, water polo, rugby, and ultimate frisbee.

The upcoming Asian Sevens Series (rugby) and Nations Cup (netball) will also be shown on this new channel.

There will also be a half-hour daily sports programme covering the latest developments in Singapore's sports scene.

The MOU cements the two parties' commitment to broaden the reach of local sports with the aim of developing a local sporting culture.

Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong, who witnessed the MOU signing, said: "One of the things the ministry is doing is to try to raise the profile of athletes, and there's nothing like TV as a broadcasting medium to reach out to many Singaporeans.

"Hopefully (the increased coverage) will get more Singaporeans to support our athletes."

Tan Su-Lynn, who led Singapore women's water polo team to a silver medal in the just-ended Asian Water Polo Cup, welcomes the increased coverage.

She said: "This is definitely good as it increases awareness of women's water polo in Singapore. It will certainly help with the recruitment of new players. With greater awareness, there would be more support, and this will motivate the team, especially in difficult games."

Netballer Suhailah Kariman echoed these sentiments. Suhailah, who made her international debut last December, said: "It gives us greater drive when we know there are people cheering us on. It will help us dig deeper, especially when times are hard, because you know there are many people banking on you to win."

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