No change to Games plans at Kallang

Despite recent concerns over the state of the National Stadium pitch, organisers for next year's SEA Games are not altering the slate of events scheduled there yet.

With the Singapore Sports Hub taking measures to allow the patchy pitch to develop properly, Singapore South-east Asian Games Organising Committee chairman Lim Teck Yin believes the venue will be able to host the Games from June 5-16.

"I've had a look at the pitch on Saturday morning, and the grass is growing and given time to rejuvenate for the Suzuki Cup.

"We'll continue to monitor the situation," he said at the sidelines of the opening of the Games' first official merchandise store in Orchard Road yesterday.

Events at the Games that are likely to be held at the National Stadium are track and field as well as football, which took place over five and 15 days respectively at last year's Myanmar Games.

With field competitions such as shot put, javelin and discus potentially affecting the pitch conditions, Lim said his organising committee is still working out how to accommodate both sports at the National Stadium.

"For football, we'll only use the stadium for the semi-finals and final. Preliminary matches will most probably be played elsewhere as it will be used for the track and field events," said Lim who is also chief executive of national agency Sport Singapore.

"We don't have the luxury of having two major stadiums (for the Games) but we will ensure that the conditions at the National Stadium are right for whatever events we hold there."

Yesterday, he also spoke about the importance of the merchandise store outside Wisma Atria.

It will sell official SEA Games products - from shirts and mugs to bags and collectible pins - as well as acrylic paintings and tote bags done by trainees at the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore.

"We didn't want to just create merchandise that was nice to have but souvenirs with a cause that people can believe in," he said.

"The merchandise store gives everyone a chance to not only take home a piece of the Games but also, more importantly, a chance to appreciate the value of the theme, 'Celebrating the Extraordinary'."

The store will also be selling a set of 50 limited-edition pins, each designed to represent the 11 participating countries and 36 sports that will be contested during the Games.

Part of the proceeds from the sale of various items will go to non-profit organisations such as Minds, SportCares Foundation, Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund, Singapore Corporation of Rehabilitative Enterprises and Singapore Association Of The Visually Handicapped.

This article was first published on November 2, 2014.
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