Turn sports institute into world-class college

The future of our national sports associations and sports development in Singapore cannot be driven largely by part-time volunteers, however well-meaning and competent some of them may be (Solid secretariat is key, Aug 6).

Greater professionalism and more full-time sports administrators with a holistic view of the industry are needed.

While Sport Singapore has been doing a good job in nurturing this talent pipeline, more can be done, especially in helping our athletes pursue other areas of sporting excellence once they retire from competitive sports.

There is room for the Singapore Sports Institute to evolve into a leading global institution of learning about the sports industry.

One ideal partner for this venture to establish a top speciality tertiary-level sports college in the heart of Kallang would be the UK's Loughborough University, alongside the many others from the industry, who should be enticed to make the location its headquarters for the Indo-Pacific region.

Creating a campus-like atmosphere for students, athletes, fans, academia and industry players to work, live, play and collaborate with one another on a regular basis will transform the precinct into a sports-adventure-related cluster like no other in the world.

Such an endeavour can help to plug the gap between the most advanced sporting nations and the rest, including Singapore and Asia, and in the process spawn fresh opportunities for the sector to grow.

It is certainly a more inclusive and sensible way to grow the talent pool for the development of sports in this country, compared to the narrow-minded proposal to build a sub-district of activities targeted specifically at youths.

A sure bet to make the area come alive, and live and breathe the Kallang Roar.

Toh Cheng Seong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 28, 2019, with the headline 'Turn sports institute into world-class college'. Print Edition | Subscribe