NSAS get $25 million boost

NSAS get $25 million boost
An artist’s impression of the Punggol Regional Sports Centre.

To give national sports associations (NSAs) more certainty, and a funding boost, the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) will provide $25 million over the next five years to support developmental plans and innovative ideas.

This sum is separate from the annual grants NSAs receive, and may be activated at any time of the year.

Mr Lawrence Wong, Acting Minister for the MCCY, made this announcement in his speech at the Committee of Supply debate in Parliament yesterday.

The sports minister also announced an investment of $1.5 billion to implement the first phase of the Sports Facilities Master Plan.

"We will give our NSAs more resources and support," said Mr Wong.

"But it is not just a question of how much funding, but how we provide it.

"We want greater stability for our NSAs, to carry our long-term programmes.

"So, MCCY will now provide NSAs multi-year baseline grants, with annual increases pegged to the overall budget growth rate. This will give them greater funding certainty."

FUNDING

In terms of direct government funding, Team Singapore athletes will receive $60 million over the five years.

This includes grants for training and loss of wages, and funding for the Sports Excellence (Spex) Scholarship programme.

Mr Wong recently revealed that a special fund will be set up for athletes with medal potential but who are not SpexScholars to prepare for next year's South-east Asia Games and ASEAN Para Games, which Singapore will host.

This support will be made available for athletes who want to train full-time for the 2015 Games.

While Singapore Sports Council (SSC) CEO Lim Teck Yin encouraged the various NSAs to make full use of the available funds, he was quick to add that they must provide a detailed framework with "clear deliverables and a clear timeline".

"This is a fund to incentivise NSAs to come up with game changers to develop the ecosystem of their sport," he said.

In what will be a busy year for tennis, Lim said the SSC is in talks with the Singapore Tennis Association over how to use the fund and capitalise on the inevitable buzz that will surround the season-ending WTA Championships, which will be held at the Singapore Sports Hub's Indoor Stadium from Oct 17 to 26.

Possibilities include tie-ups with world-renowned academies and the setting up of a junior circuit in the region.

Last year, the Football Association of Singapore announced its ambition to host a Youth World Cup in 2019, and it could also tap on the extra funds in the lead-up to the bid.

Lim said: "It's not just about bringing in one big event. It's about joining the dots... and generating momentum in a particular area.


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