Forum: Get SPL clubs adopted by districts to strengthen ties with community

I agree with Straits Times deputy sports editor Low Lin Fhoong that for the Singapore Premier League (SPL) to succeed, its clubs must have the support of the community, among other factors (The more the merrier when it comes to local football, 2034 World Cup dream, Nov 27).

However, I believe this is hard to achieve if SPL clubs are named after small areas with small numbers of residents.

For example, a resident of Kallang Bahru may not feel any sense of loyalty to the club closest to where he lives, Geylang International, especially since it plays its home games at Our Tampines Hub under a facility-sharing scheme.

As Ms Low put it: "Sport can be the heart of a community, but only if it sinks its roots in."

Therefore, I suggest that the various Community Development Councils adopt some of the less supported and financed SPL clubs located within their districts.

For example, South East District could adopt a renamed SE Geylang International, while North East District adopts NE Tampines Rovers. North West District could take NW Young Lions under its wings, while South West District supports SW Tanjong Pagar United and Central Singapore District adopts Central Balestier Khalsa.

With this district adoption programme, the community could be better bonded through common support of an adopted SPL club.

Meanwhile, clubs gain not only an enhanced fan base formed by residents and students from their district, but hopefully also financial support from corporate sponsors located there.

A national team can be only as good as its local league pipeline.

I look forward to the day when a better supported and more vibrant SPL can contribute towards our national football team being able to "Unleash the Roar!" and qualify for the 2034 World Cup.

Edwin Pang

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