SEA Games fever, please

In recent years, only a handful of sports, including football and netball, have managed to attract big crowds during competitions here that starred local athletes.

But Singapore South-east Asia (SEA) Games organising committee (Singsoc) chairman Lim Teck Yin aims to fill all venues at the 28th edition of the biennial event here in June when the "home" athletes are competing.

After 22 years, Singapore will once again host the SEA Games, which will be held from June 5 to 16.

Speaking on the sidelines of a briefing for the opening and closing ceremonies yesterday at the Singapore Sports Hub's Black Box auditorium, Lim said: "We have a target that the venues should be filled, that whenever Team Singapore are playing, we would want it to be a full house.


"And we are going out and doing our best to get Singaporeans to believe that this is our time, our 50th anniversary to get behind one Team Singapore."

"So we must fill the stands to support our athletes at home for the Games," added Lim, who is also the chief executive officer of national sports agency Sport Singapore.

The organisers intend to drum up excitement ahead of the 2015 Games, which coincides with the nation's 50th year of independence.

To raise awareness among Singaporeans, Singsoc has already organised roadshows, school talks by Team Singapore athletes and modular programmes in schools on various sports topics.

The public awareness campaign will be ramped from March, said Lim, beginning with an event on Orchard Road.

Said Lim: "We will, on March 7, descend on Orchard Road for a big extravaganza to rally for one Team Singapore.

"But we are moving out (of the Orchard Road area) as well; not everyone comes to Orchard Road and there will be pockets of large engagements in the various communities.

"For each community group, we are designing it a bit differently according to what they want and... I would expect it to start from next month onwards."

Advance sales for tickets to the opening and closing ceremonies started yesterday through ticketing partners APACTix and will be available to the public from 10am Thursday week.

Tickets for the various competitions and events will be affordable and available by the end of the month when the schedule is finalised, said Lim.

And fan initiatives will carry on for the duration of the Games, according to Lim.

He said: "There will be a carnival in the precinct of Kallang and the Marina Bay area (during the Games).

"We are confident that the ticket pricing, the positioning of the carnivals at the Sports Hub and the Marina Bay, that Singaporeans will come (to the Games).

"Singaporeans are curious and sometimes we are late when we buy tickets. We would like them to get excited earlier, rather than later."

This article was first published on January 16, 2015.
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