Singapore athletes can look forward to rousing home support at the SEA Games in June.
Competition tickets to catch the 36 sports will go on sale at the end of this month and Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin is hopeful that Singaporeans will come out in numbers to cheer their local sporting stars.
Next Monday, the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) will announce the initial batch of athletes selected to compete in the June 5-16 Games.
Mr Tan, who is also the SNOC president, said yesterday on the sidelines of the Singapore Canoe Marathon at the Sports Hub's Water Sports Centre: "I'm very confident when the time comes, Singaporeans will come out to support our athletes.
"I'm not looking at ticket sales. I'm looking at them coming out to support in different ways and obviously some will purchase tickets to attend the events itself."
Singapore last hosted the biennial Games in 1993 and captured 50 gold medals to finish fourth in the standings.
The Republic's best return since was 43 golds at the 2007 Korat Games in Thailand.
The country has consistently finished in mid-table.
With five months still to go, any medal predictions at this stage would be premature, noted Mr Tan.
"We know where we stand from every Games to Games. We have been hovering around a particular position.
"But, right now, I would rather not focus on a specific position itself.
"The important thing is to provide as much support as we can for our sportsmen and sportswomen so that they can peak at the SEA Games."
He was joined by Minister of State for National Development and Singapore Canoeing Federation adviser Desmond Lee at yesterday's mass event at Kallang basin that featured 650 participants.
Together with 14 national athletes from a range of SEA Games sports, they partnered national canoeists for a Team SG relay to collectively paddle 50km in celebration of Singapore's 50th birthday and the 28th SEA Games on home soil.
Swimmer Quah Ting Wen expressed hope that Singaporeans can come down and fill the stadiums.
"It would be great for us to showcase all the hard work that we've put in and we hope that they can be there when we do Singapore proud."
This article was first published on Jan 19, 2015.
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.