Pick up the pace to open school sports facilities to the public

For many years, there has been talk about allowing greater public access to school facilities - especially sports facilities - with the aim to eventually open up all school sports facilities.

Unfortunately, progress on this matter has been painfully slow. To date, the vast majority of school facilities remains an untapped resource.

It is always a struggle to find a free space where I can exercise and play sports.

Yet, every evening and weekend, when I look out my window, I see schools with empty football fields, Olympic-size tracks, basketball courts, tennis courts, badminton courts and netball courts.

Sports facilities are not the only school facilities that can and should be opened up to the public.

For example, classrooms can be used by small businesses, study groups, tuition groups and so on. Lecture halls and auditoriums can be used for seminars, talks and conferences.

It would seem that the only costs involved are those of administration and security.

There is already an online system (myactivesg.com) where people can book some school facilities - it is not difficult to expand this system.

Moreover, most schools already have at least one security guard round the clock, and there are many security cameras around.

It is, thus, unclear what obstacles are in the way of a more rapid opening up of these facilities.

The Government can and should move more quickly to exploit these vast untapped resources.

It would be a pity if members of the public had to wait many more years to make use of the school facilities right next to their homes.

Masagos Zulkifli