OCBC working on new cycling event for 2015

Cyclists cycling up Benjamin Sheares Bridge at the sixth edition of the OCBC Cycle Singapore at the F1 Pit Building on 30 March 2014. Local bank OCBC is still committed to holding a premier cycling event here, even as it recently terminated its
Cyclists cycling up Benjamin Sheares Bridge at the sixth edition of the OCBC Cycle Singapore at the F1 Pit Building on 30 March 2014. Local bank OCBC is still committed to holding a premier cycling event here, even as it recently terminated its six-year partnership with Spectrum Worldwide as sponsor for the annual Cycle Singapore event. -- ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Local bank OCBC is still committed to holding a premier cycling event here, even as it recently terminated its six-year partnership with Spectrum Worldwide as sponsor for the annual Cycle Singapore event.

On Wednesday, the bank posted an announcement on its official Twitter page, saying that it will be "working with new organisers for a new event called OCBC Cycle 2015".

OCBC head of group corporate communications Koh Ching Ching told The Straits Times that the split from Spectrum will allow for fresher ideas in organising such a large-scale sporting event.

Besides sponsoring Cycle Singapore, OCBC has also supported other cycling events like a year-long safe cycling campaign and the annual Singapore National Road Cycling Championships.

Said Ms Koh: "Having helmed Cycle Singapore (as the title sponsor) for six years in Singapore, now is a good time for us to refresh proceedings and take stock of matters.

"That will allow us to further grow the event not in terms of numbers, but more in stature and experience.

"OCBC remains committed to cycling, and supporting the ecosystem around the sport here."

Billed as Singapore's first mass- participation cycling event when it debuted in 2009, the Cycle Singapore event saw over 11,500 cyclists signed up for this year's race in March.

However, the event suffered its first fatality in this year's edition, when full-time national serviceman Chia Wee Kiat died after suffering serious head injuries in a crash.

Despite what happened, OCBC remains keen on organising a cycling event for the masses and will look at the feedback from previous events to ensure the safety of future participants.

"With many different types of cyclists around, we want to implement different features at the event to include them all," said Ms Koh.

"We will work with the new organisers to ensure the event continues to offer an excellent experience, and that safety is ensured."

Ms Koh added that the bank will open a tender for event organisers soon.

Meanwhile, Spectrum Worldwide has confirmed that Cycle Singapore will still go ahead next year from April 10 to 12.

terong@sph.com.sg