WEEKLY ROUND-UP: Sports happenings in Singapore (22-28 Feb)

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
·6-min read
Lion City Sailors' record signing Diego Lopes. (PHOTO: Lion City Sailors)
Lion City Sailors' record signing Diego Lopes. (PHOTO: Lion City Sailors)

SINGAPORE — Here is a round-up of sports events and developments in Singapore in the past week (22 to 28 February):

2021 SPL season to start on 13 March

The 2021 Singapore Premier League (SPL) season will open on 13 March, with defending champions Albirex Niigata (Singapore) taking on Hougang United at Jurong East Stadium, while Lion City Sailor will face off against Tampines Rovers at Jalan Besar Stadium at the same time.

Eight teams will compete in the new season, with each team playing one another twice. Brunei DPMM, champions in 2019, have informed the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) that they have to withdraw due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

The 2021 Singapore Cup is slated to commence in September, while the Community Shield – traditionally a curtain-raiser to the season – has been rescheduled to 19 June. The full list of fixtures for can be found on the SPL official website.

Matches are set to be played behind closed doors when the season begins, in light of the current COVID-19 situation. FAS said it will review this in consultation with the relevant authorities as the season progresses. Fans can catch every match live on Singtel TV and StarHub TV, as well as via the SPL Facebook and YouTube pages.

In a move to align with the requirements of the Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) club competitions, each SPL club (excluding Albirex and the Young Lions) shall be allowed to register a maximum of four foreign players with no age restrictions, of whom at least one shall be of the nationality of an AFC member association. A maximum of four foreign players may be named or fielded in any one match.

Also, to allow the Singapore national Under-22 team to have adequate preparations for this year’s AFC Under-23 Qualifiers and the SEA Games, the mandatory fielding of U-23 local players for participating clubs shall not apply for matches in the 2021 Singapore Cup.

With the Bishan Stadium currently in the process of being re-turfed, Lion City Sailors and Balestier Khalsa – who have shared a home venue there since the 2019 season – will be based at Jalan Besar Stadium and Toa Payoh Stadium respectively.

SingapRediscovers edition of GameOn Nila! launched

Sport Singapore (SportSG) and the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) will launch a SingapoRediscovers edition of the community game GameOn Nila! on 1 March (Monday) to encourage locals to explore Singapore through physical activity.

Available until 30 April, the game encourages locals to explore tourism and lifestyle establishments on foot, allowing them to earn points as they clock steps and visit these establishments. Over the next eight weeks, participants can explore over 60 places of interests – from attractions and hotels to tour ticketing booths as well as retail and dining establishments – in 10 local precincts while playing the game.

This new edition of GameOn Nila! comes on the back of a Jejak Warisan (Heritage Trail) edition earlier this year, where SportSG partnered the National Heritage Board to encourage members of public to visit heritage trails in Singapore. More than 150,000 people participated.

The GameOn Nila! SingapoRediscovers Edition can be found on the ActiveWallet mobile application, available on both Android and iOS devices. Participants will have to sign up as an ActiveSG member to access the game. After registering for the game.

FILE PHOTO: Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon
FILE PHOTO: Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon

StanChart Singapore Marathon no longer in the running to join elite series

The Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon (SCSM) is no longer in the running to join the elite Abbott World Marathon Majors (AWMM) series, according to a media release by race organiser The Ironman Asia on Friday (26 February).

This development comes after The Ironman Asia was sold in March 2020 by China's Wanda Sports Group, which has an exclusive partnership with AWMM.

"Following the sale of The Ironman Group by the Wanda Sports Group, the Singapore race is no longer a part of that candidate process. Wanda Sports Group has the exclusive right to put forward these races," a statement on the AWMM website said.

Despite the disappointment, The Ironman Asia said in a media statement that it remains "committed to delivering world-class race experiences and will continue its efforts in producing a signature event for the global running community".

Similarly, Sport Singapore also released a media statement saying that it will "continue to develop the SCSM as a world-class World Athletics Gold Label race".

The AWMM series currently consists of six of the leading marathons in the world – Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York City. Wanda Sports Group had been considering to add the SCSM and the Chengdu Marathon to the series.

Launch of the Community Chest Heartstrings Walk 2021 at Marina Bay Sands. (PHOTO: Community Chest)
Launch of the Community Chest Heartstrings Walk 2021 at Marina Bay Sands. (PHOTO: Community Chest)

Community Chest Heartstrings Walk with interactive elements

The Community Chest Heartstrings Walk 2021 was held in with interactive elements at Marina Bay Sands on Sunday (28 February), with participants choosing from two 5km walk formats – Heartstrings Walk Marina Bay and Heartstrings Walk Anywhere. 

The event, which is in its 10th consecutive year, was live-streamed on Community Chest's Facebook page, and was launched by Minister for Social and Family Development and Second Minister for Health, Masagos Zulkifli.

As at 24 February, the event has raised $4.7 million. The event runs until 31 March, and interested participants can register for Heartstrings Walk Marina Bay or Heartstrings Walk Anywhere. All participants stand a chance to win attractive prizes when they post a photo with Community Chest Heartstrings Walk’s customised augmented reality filters on Instagram Stories and tag @comchestsg #chsw2021.

Queen Sirikit Cup to be held at Laguna National from 23 to 27 August

The 42nd edition of the Queen Sirikit Cup women's team golf tournament will be held at Singapore's Laguna National Golf and Country Club from 23 to 27 August, the Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation reported on Tuesday (23 February).

Last year's tournament, which was scheduled to be played at Indonesia's Pondok Indah Golf Club, was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic – the first time since the Cup's inauguration in 1979 that it had missed a year.

Traditionally, the Queen Sirikit Cup has comprised of three-player teams competing over 54 holes of individual stroke play, with the two best daily scores from each team counting towards the overall totals. Starting from this year, the tournament is being extended to 72 holes over four rounds.

Lyn Yeo, president of the Singapore Ladies Golf Association (SLGA), said in a media release, "The SLGA is delighted to be able to bring this fabulous championship back to Singapore in 2021 and to be the first country to host the Queen Sirikit Cup in its new 72-hole format."

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