$25m fund sparks off bright ideas

$25m fund sparks off bright ideas
SEA Games champion Saiyidah Aisyah is keen to suggest ideas gleaned from her recent training stint in Japan, such as a land-rowing machine which can predict actual performances on the water.

SINGAPORE - The carrot of a $25 million "ideas fund" - announced by Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong in Parliament on Tuesday - has prompted national sports associations (NSAs) to come up with new game plans to reinvigorate their sport.

The Singapore Rugby Union, for instance, is looking to tap the fund in two areas - to improve performances on the playing field and develop a sustainable international-level event.

Its president Low Teo Ping told The Straits Times yesterday: "I think this is a tremendous boost for NSAs in terms of thinking outside the box and working towards sports excellence.

"One area we are looking at is pioneering certain technologies to improve the performance of our athletes, such as global positioning system tracking for sports and exercise science, which tracks a player's fitness levels during a match.

"Another area will be to develop a global rugby competition, which we can call our own. We want to bring international rugby to the local scene which will help develop the sport in Singapore and also in the region."

The $25 million, which will be spread over the next five years, is separate from the annual grant that the NSAs get each year.

The Singapore Sports Council (SSC) declined to reveal specific guidelines but said that more details will be released next week.

According to the SSC website, there are 64 NSAs. The Straits Times understands that the SSC is briefing them on what an innovative programme entails.

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