Pioneer athletes, officials and coaches to get free lifetime access to public pools and gyms

All pioneer athletes, officials and coaches aged 65 and above and who have represented Singapore at a major sporting meet will get free lifetime access to public swimming pools and gyms across the country. -- PHOTO: ST FILE
All pioneer athletes, officials and coaches aged 65 and above and who have represented Singapore at a major sporting meet will get free lifetime access to public swimming pools and gyms across the country. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

All pioneer athletes, officials and coaches aged 65 and above and who have represented Singapore at a major sporting meet will get free lifetime access to public swimming pools and gyms across the country.

The initiative by Sport Singapore was announced on Thursday evening by Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong at the Sports Hub to honour more than 200 sports pioneers for their contributions to Singapore's sporting history.

According to local sports governing body Sport Singapore, sports pioneers need to have represented the country at major meets like the Olympics, Commonwealth, Asian, South-east Asian Peninsular or SEA Games

"We want you to remain actively involved in the sporting scene, and serve as role models for our younger Team Singapore members," said Mr Wong.

"Whatever we do, it cannot fully reflect the contributions that our sports pioneers have made (but) it is a way for us to say 'thank you for inspiring the nation'."

The gesture is appreciated by pioneer athlete, former sprint queen Glory Barnabas.

Now, 72, she said: "It is fantastic that they are giving former athletes like us access to the gyms and swimming pools.

"You're never too old to exercise, no matter how slow or easy you go, and this will encourage former athletes to exercise."

More details about the scheme to honour the pioneer athletes, officials and coaches will be revealed later.

Mr Wong was also the guest of honour at the official opening the Singapore Sports Museum and Singapore Youth Olympic Museum at the Sports Hub.

On display at the Singapore Sports Museum are items like weightlifter Tan Howe Liang's silver medal won at the 1960 Rome Olympics, interactive touch screens that present career highlights of sprinter C. Kunalan and swimmer Ang Peng Siong, a video display of footballer Fandi Ahmad's famous Uefa Cup goal for FC Groningen against mighty Inter Milan as well as displays in honour of top local athletes like ex-bodybuilding world champion Azman Abdullah, sailing's Asian Games gold medallist Dr Ben Tan and former silat world champion Sheik Alauddin.

Sports fans can also walk down memory lane through exhibits like the loudspeaker, wooden benches and turnstiles from the old National Stadium and nostalgic pictures of Farrer Park and Yan Kit Swimming Complex.

Sports equipment used at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games (YOG) hosted in Singapore as well as the iconic torches used in the Summer and Winter Olympics and the YOG are on show at the Singapore Youth Olympic Museum.