The Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) has appealed for the inclusion of a number of sports and events, among them Singapore's strong suits, at the next SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur.
But with almost all National Olympic Committees (NOCs) in South- east Asia advocating their own respective strengths and interests, it is inevitable that not all appeals will be successful.
An appeal for fencing, canoeing, triathlon and floorball - all of which made the programme at the Singapore SEA Games last year - was made at the SEA Games Federation Council meeting, which ended yesterday in Kuala Lumpur.
The SNOC also asked for all 46 events in athletics to be contested, along with the 50m swimming events, women's water polo and women's rugby sevens. It had emerged last week that the marathon, 10,000m and 3,000m steeplechase were among events that have been dropped provisionally from the track and field competition.
At last year's edition, Singapore was the top-performing nation in canoeing and floorball, and also fared well in fencing. The 50m swimming events were also largely dominated by the Republic.
First list of sports for 2017 SEA Games
• Aquatics (swimming, diving, synchronised swimming, water polo)
• Billiards and snooker
• Football &f utsal
• Gymnastics (rhythmic, artistic)
• Ice hockey
• Ice skating
• Pencak silat
• Rugby 7s
• Sepak takraw
• Table tennis
• Tenpin bowling
• Water ski
e meeting: "There is a limit to the number of sports and events which the Malaysian SEA Games organising committee can manage for their sports programme, so some appeals will have to be turned down finally."
The two-day meeting was the first time the Council was meeting to discuss the programme for the 29th SEA Games, which will be held from Aug 19-31 next year. The first list of 34 sports and 342 events was accepted by the Council. All NOCs have until the end of next month to submit their appeals officially.
Added Chan: "Therefore, the SNOC will work with Sport Singapore and the affected National Sport Associations (NSAs) on our appeal strategy and to determine the next course of action.
"While it will be disappointing to see the omission of some sports and events, there are also some new sports such as ice hockey, ice skating and cricket in the 2017 SEA Games line-up. Their inclusion... could give these respective sports a boost in their development and popularity."
The Kuala Lumpur Games will mark the first time winter sports will be contested at the biennial affair, a big stride forward for the two NSAs that have lobbied for their inclusion for years.
Said Singapore Ice Hockey Association president Alphonsus Joseph: "We've pushed for it for the last few years with our neighbours in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. We started a team in August last year once we knew that there was a high chance ice hockey would be at the next SEA Games and we're very excited to be a part of it."
The national team, which consists of 22 players, will leave for the International Ice Hockey Federation Challenge Cup of Asia (Top Division) in Abu Dhabi in two weeks, to gain exposure.
Similarly, the Singapore Ice Skating Association (Sisa) has a series of competitions and training camps lined up for its stable of skaters.
Top local short-track speed skater Lucas Ng left on Tuesday night for a training stint in South Korea, before competing at the world championships to be held there from March 11-13.
Events such as the International Skating Union World Development Trophy in April for figure skating (Poland) and for short-track speed skating (Melbourne) are others that have been earmarked.
There are also plans to hire a technical director to oversee the overall development of figure skating here.
Said Sisa president Sonja Chong: "We'll be concentrating on preparing athletes, but we also want to look at building a base, using the momentum of the SEA Games to build awareness and have more people try out figure- and short-track speed skating."
The final list of sports and events is expected when the Council next meets in July.