WEEKLY ROUND-UP: Sports happenings in Singapore (28 Aug-3 Sept)

U-15s finish 2nd in Lion City Cup, Singapore to host tchoukball Asian Schools event, paddlers win at Asian Junior Exchange Games

Singapore's U-15 team celebrate a goal by Nathan Mao (centre) at the Lion City Cup tournament. (PHOTO: Football Association of Singapore)
Singapore's U-15 team celebrate a goal by Nathan Mao (centre) at the Lion City Cup tournament. (PHOTO: Football Association of Singapore)

SINGAPORE — Here is a round-up of sports events and developments in Singapore in the past week (28 August to 3 September):

Singapore U-15 side finish second in Lion City Cup

The Singapore Under-15 team - made up of youngsters from the National Development Centre - finished second in the four-team Lion City Cup tournament, losing the final on penalties to Thailand club side BG Pathum at Jalan Besar Stadium on Sunday (3 September).

Lion City Sailors' Nathan Mao had scored for the U-15s in the 81st minute, after his shot was parried into the net by Pathum goalkeeper Kittiphob Poomee. The 15-year-old's goal allowed his team to equalised following an own goal just 23 seconds into the match, when goalkeeper Jarec Ng failed to control a back pass from Ahmad Ilhan Rizqullah and let the ball trickle over the line.

After the score remain 1-1 at full-time, the two sides went to a penalty shootout, and Pathum emerged 4-3 winners after spot-kicks by Singapore's Rae Peh and Helmi Shahrol were saved.

Singapore had reached the final after beating Selangor FC 3-1 on Friday, with Nathan scoring twice and Helmi added the third. Selangor defeated Borneo FC 2-1 in the third-place play-off match on Sunday.

Provisional Lionesses squad named for Asian Games

Singapore women’s national football team head coach Karim Bencherifa on Tuesday (29 August) named a provisional squad of 29 players for the Lionesses’ upcoming Asian Games campaign in Hangzhou.

He has retained a core of the squad from those that took part at the SEA Games in May - captain Siti Rosnani Azman, midfielders Farhanah Ruhaizat and Sitianiwati Rosielin, defenders Venetia Lim and Syazwani Ruzi, forward Nicole Lim, and veteran goalkeeper Noor Kusumawati.

Young talents Sarah Zu’risqha and Farah Nurzahirah will look to make their first appearance in a major tournament. Meanwhile, Irsalina Irwan - one of the eight recipients of the Unleash the Roar! overseas scholarship - will be returning from Florida to join the team for training.

The team has started centralised training, and the final squad of 20 players will be named ahead of the team’s departure for the Asian Games on 20 September. Singapore will face North Korea and Cambodia in Group C of the Hangzhou Asiad, which will take place from 23 September to 8 October.

Provisional squad - Goalkeepers: Noor Kusumawati, Beatrice Tan, Erlinawaty Jaffar, Haziqah Haszman, Azura Azlan. Defenders: Irsalina Irwan, Syazwani Ruzi, Umairah Hamdan, Rosnani Azman, Adrianna Hazeri, Nursabrina Iskandar Shah, Nurerwadah Erwan. Midfielders: Dhaniyah Qasimah, Khairunnisa Anwar, Venetia Lim, Farhanah Ruhaizat, Nasriah Ibrahim, Rachel Chan, Sitianiwati Rosielin, Stephanie Gigette, Ho Hui Xin, Afiqah Omar, Sarah Zu’risqha, Dorcas Chu, Mastura Jeilani, Qarissa Putri Ramadhani. Forwards: Farah Nurzahirah, Raudhah Kamis, Nicole Lim.

Squad finalised for AFC U-23 Asian Cup qualifiers

Singapore football Under-22 men’s national head coach Nazri Nasir has announced a finalised squad of 23 players for the upcoming 2024 AFC U-23 Asian Cup qualifiers in Vietnam, after as 12-day centralised training stint in Thailand.

The team have departed for Hanoi, and will play their first match on Wednesday (6 September) against Yemen at My Dinh National Stadium. They will face Guam three days later, before completing their group-stage matches against Vietnam on 12 September.

Singapore U-22 squad - Goalkeepers: Wayne Chew, Aizil Yazid, Prathip Ekamparam. Defenders: Kieran Aryan Azhari, Kieran Teo, Aqil Yazid, Bah Mamadou, Nur Adam Abdullah, Fairuz Fazli Koh, Ilhan Noor, Jordan Emaviwe. Midfielders: Harhys Stewart, Jared Gallagher, Ajay Robson, Azim Akbar, Muhammad Asis, Farhan Zulkifli, Iman Hakim Ibrahim. Forwards: Zikos Chua, Syafi’ie Redzuan, Syahadat Masnawi, Abdul Rasaq, Haziq Kamarudin.

Singapore to host tchoukball's Asia Pacific Schools Championships in 2025

The Tchoukball Association of Singapore (TBAS) announced on Tuesday (29 August) that it will be hosting the inaugural Asia Pacific Schools Championships in 2025.

This new competition, created by the association with the endorsement from Asia Pacific Tchoukball Federation, seeks to be the pipeline for athletes to their respective national teams, thus raising the standard of the sport in the region. It aims to cater to the aspirations of young Tchoukball enthusiasts and contributes to the growth and popularity of tchoukball across the Asia Pacific region.

The inaugural edition is set to feature round-robin matches followed by knockout stages where male and female teams will compete in two categories: Under-17 and Under-12. Teams from Macau, Hong Kong, Chinese Taipei, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines have expressed an interest to take part and will be represented by 28 teams - two teams in each category. Singapore will be sending four teams in each category.

The inception of the Asia Pacific Schools Championships is one of the first acts of TBAS’ new executive board. which was elected after its annual general meeting on 25 August. Incumbent president Delane Lim was returned unopposed, Ho Kim Long - chairman of Ang Mo Kio Constituency Merchant Association - was elected as the new deputy president, while educator Mark Sum will spearhead the association's push to be part of the National School Games.

The triumphant Team Singapore youth paddlers with coaches at the Asian Junior Exchange Games. (PHOTO: STTA)
The triumphant Team Singapore youth paddlers with coaches at the Asian Junior Exchange Games. (PHOTO: STTA)

Youth paddlers win gold at Asian Junior Exchange Games

Singapore's youth paddlers won the table tennis competition at the Asian Junior Exchange Games, which was held in Tokyo from 26 to 28 August.

In a series of gripping matches, Team Singapore defeated teams from Thailand, Jakarta and Delhi in the group stage, before edging Team Malaysia 3-2 in the semi-finals and Team Beijing 3-2 in the final.

The triumphant Singapore team comprised of Loy Xing Yao, Ellsworth Le, Jaryl Wong, Joeunn Seow and Janelle Chiang, and were coached by Sun Beibei and Guan Bei.

The Asian Junior Exchange Games serve as a platform for young athletes from various Asian cities to come together, fostering sportsmanship, skill development and cultural exchange.

Launch of spexPotential programme for new tier of support

Sport Singapore (SportSG) announced on Tuesday (29 August) the launch of the Sport Excellence Potential (spexPotential) programme, which provides an enhanced level of support to prepare athletes for gold medal success at the SEA Games level, with the aim of transitioning these athletes into the Sport Excellence Scholarship (spexScholarship) programme in the long term.

The programme will also strengthen the support for youth-to-senior athlete transition and nurture athletes early for sustained sporting success.

It will also provide financial and programmatic support for athletes within the High Performance Sports pathway. These include a monthly stipend, as well as support for local and overseas training and competitions, sport science and medicine, education, career and personal development.

Applications for the spexPotential programme began on Friday for a period of two months, and will be held concurrently with the spexScholarship programme. All eligible nominations will be evaluated by the National Youth Sports Institute, and shortlisted candidates will be interviewed by a panel of sport specialists. All nominated athletes will be informed of the outcome thei application by 28 February next year.

Trio of NSA representatives elected into SNOC exco

Three national sports association (NSA) representatives were elected to the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) executive committee at its annual general meeting at Raffles Town Club on Wednesday (30 August).

The trio - Hing Siong Chen (cycling), Patrick Liew (gymnastics) and Mark Chay (aquatics) - will serve from 2023 to 2025.

The annual general meeting saw 136 delegates representing 36 ordinary members, five associate members and four provisional members in attendance. The 2023/24 SNOC executive committee comprises:

Acting president: Jessie Phua

IOC member: Ng Ser Miang

Vice-presidents: Juliana Seow, Benedict Tan, Lawrence Leow

Honorary treasurer: Lee Wung Yew

NSA representatives: Hing Siong Chen, Patrick Liew, Mark Chay

(Co-opted) members: Alan Goh, Eugenia Lim, Shayna Ng (chair, athletes’ commission), Lau Kok Keng, Forrest Li.

Secretary-general (ex-officio): Chris Chan

Assistant secretary-general (ex-officio): Edmund Lim

Participants walking and running at Run For Inclusion 2023, Singapore’s largest inclusive mass running event, held at Singapore Turf Club. (PHOTO: Runninghour)
Participants walking and running at Run For Inclusion 2023, Singapore’s largest inclusive mass running event, held at Singapore Turf Club. (PHOTO: Runninghour)

Over 2,000 participated in Run For Inclusion

More than 2,000 participants took part for the ninth Run For Inclusion event at Singapore Turf Club (STC) on Saturday (2 September). Organised by sports co-operative Runninghour, participants run, walk or cycle over varied distances in a collective effort that includes persons with special needs (PWSNs).

Education Minister Chan Chun Sing was the event’s guest of honour and flagged off the running categories, which included 3km and 5km runs and walks, a 10km run, and an 18km bike or hand cycling ride that included a tandem option designed for PWSNs.

A standout event was the return of the Blindfold Walk after a three-year hiatus. Participants in this walk wore blindfolds and partnered with a sighted person for the first 500m, switching places for the next 500m. The unique experience gave participants a sense of what it is like to be visually impaired.

As Run For Inclusion’s corporate partner for a second consecutive year, STC employees, friends and families joined the event and collectively logged 180km in commemoration of STC’s 180th anniversary. It donated a total of $32,400 to Runninghour.

Run for Kids to return as in-person event on 5 Nov

The POSB PAssion Run for Kids will return as an in-person event at the Marina Promontory on 5 November, after being held in hybrid and virtual formats over the past three years.

Jointly-organised by POSB and the People’s Association, the event brings together families, friends and communities for a day of fun and bondin, while raising funds for a good cause.

There are six individual and group race categories, including the popular "Team of 4 challenge", with over $12,000 worth of prizes to be won. There will also be an inaugural race for national servicemen, as a way of strengthening the bond between the community and those who serve our nation.

A limited-edition Smart Buddy watch strap can be redeemed for free when children participants clock a minimum of 1.2km starting from 1 October to the event day with their Smart Buddy watches.

Move For Hope event by Limitless launched

Limitless, a non-profit organisation supporting the mental health and well-being of young individuals, announced on Tuesday (29 August) the launch of its annual flagship event, The Limitless Run 2023, now rebranded as Move For Hope.

This year's event will allow participants to take on any movement activity - be it walking, running, swimming, cycling or skateboarding - and every step taken will contribute to creating resilience in the lives of those in need.

Limitless supports youths who struggle with mental health issues by providing subsidised or free therapy, casework services, group work and outreach. A donation of as little as $65 can fully fund a therapy session for struggling youth.

The challenge period for Move For Hope will be from 1 September to 30 November. Sign up as either an individual or with a team, create a personalised fundraising page and share it to raise funds for a meaningful cause.

The top 100 participants who raised the most funds will be invited to a physical Move For Hope event on 22 October at the Marina Bay Sands area, where participants can go on a 5km walk and enjoy a carnival.

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