It will take a significant game changer for national sports associations (NSAs) to be able to tap on the $25 million "ideas fund", announced last week, to help take local sport to the next level.
While there will be no annual call for applications, the Singapore Sports Council (SSC) has already met more than 40 NSA leaders and will partner them to develop ideas.
What warrants a grant, however, will have to be something that goes beyond just coming up with a new suggestion.
"I want to emphasise that the innovation fund is not just about funding ideas. Ideas are plentiful," said SSC chief executive officer Lim Teck Yin.
What's more pertinent, he said, is for NSAs to show the ability to look at their sport with a macro-level perspective - and the desire to effect a long-term change.
"We must be very clear about what the situation in the sport is, and what is a game changer. What would be an interesting catalyst to inject new energy to take that sport to the next level?
"The innovation is not just the way you do it. It's in having the clarity that if you target a certain outcome, that outcome will have incremental effects on the system."
Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong announced the innovation fund in his ministry's budget debate last week.
The $25 million figure, spread over the next five years, will be separate from the annual grants that NSAs receive every year.
Some concepts targeted at enhancing high performance could be better suited to a grant from the Singapore Sports Institute, added Lim.
He said: "There are different pots under which something may better sit. It could be a real ecosystem innovation, (or) a series of events, but you must be clear what you want to get out of it."
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