Coronavirus: Private sports facility operators can now apply to be part of team sports pilot

Applicants will be assessed on their operational readiness, the type of sports on offer and the geographic spread of the facilities. PHOTO: THE CAGE

SINGAPORE - Just two days after launching a pilot allowing up to 10 fully vaccinated people to play together at selected ActiveSG and People's Association venues, Sport Singapore (SportSG) announced on Friday (Nov 12) that it is ready to extend the trial to private sports facility operators.

The national sports agency invited interested private facility operators to apply to be part of the pilot on its website. Registration started on Friday and will end next Friday.

It said applicants will be assessed on their operational readiness, the type of sports on offer and the geographic spread of the facilities.

Those found suitable may even be allowed to join the programme before its one-week registration period ends.

Under the pilot, members of the public are allowed to make vaccination-differentiated safe management measures and antigen rapid test (ART) bookings for nine sports, including futsal, basketball and tennis, at the selected facilities.

The participants will have to do an on-site ART at the venue 30 minutes before each game and produce a valid negative result there before the activity.

SportSG said that close to 600 participants have taken part in the pilot so far.

Private sports facility operators The Straits Times spoke to were pleased by the developments.

Mr Sanjay Danani, 51, co-founder of futsal facility The Cage, now hopes that public and private facility operators can work together to ensure that the pilot runs smoothly.

He said: "I'm elated that they're opening up to private operators. The private and public facilities have to work together to see what's the best way to get this going. If this is the new normal, we should come up with something that is seamless and easy, especially for the customers."

Mr Danani and his team will be meeting today to discuss their plan for safe management measures at The Cage's Kallang and Turf City branches, which include the setting up of test zones, the safe disposal of test kits and protocols if someone tests positive.

Ms Geraldine Tan, the co-owner of floorball facility Red Quarters, is confident that she and her team will be ready to welcome players back if their application is approved as they had been reviewing their standard operating procedures over the past few months.

Her main concern now is acquiring enough test kits which also need to be at an affordable rate as many of the Jalan Benaan Kapal facility's patrons are students.

She said: "I'm encouraged that the Government has responded so quickly and listened to what we have to say.

"The next couple of days will be looking at getting the test kits. I guess it's a matter of just being resourceful and looking at vendors who can supply us with that."

Undergraduate Kai Tan, 22, who used to visit The Cage's Kallang branch quarterly, said: "My friends and I have been playing there since our secondary school days. It's been so long since I've been able to go there with them, so I hope we'll have the chance to do so soon."

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