Floorball: International competitions back in Singapore after four years

Singapore's Thaddeus Tan in action against the US during the Men's World Floorball Championship on Dec 8, 2021. PHOTO: SINGAPORE FLOORBALL ASSOCIATION (SFA)

SINGAPORE - International floorball action will return to Singapore this year, with the Women's Asia Oceania Floorball Confederation Cup (AOFC) and the Men's World Floorball Championship Qualifiers (WFCQ) - AOFC to be held at the OCBC Arena in May.

The Women's AOFC will take place from May 23-28, followed by the Men's WFCQ - AOFC from May 31-June 4. The latter event will give teams the chance to secure their spot at November's Men's World Floorball Championship 2022 in Switzerland.

Singapore last hosted the inaugural edition of the Women's AOFC in 2018, which they won after beating Thailand 4-1 in the final.

This year's competition will feature six teams: world No. 13 Singapore, the Philippines (30), Malaysia (22), Thailand (17), Indonesia (34) and a Singapore Under-19 side.

Singapore women's captain Michelle Lok, who was part of the 2018 team, said: "Playing on home ground is always special and we're all looking forward to competing in Singapore again. We hope both floorballers and those who are keen about the sport are excited to catch both the women's and men's teams up close in action.

"Winning the Women's AOFC Cup in front of a home crowd in 2018 was definitely a memorable and honourable experience. The team is training hard to put up a good fight to retain the title and do Singapore proud."

The men's competition will see eight teams from the Asia Oceania region. They are world No. 16 Singapore, Thailand (14), South Korea (21), New Zealand (27), the Philippines (24), Japan (15), Malaysia (29) and Australia (13).

Singapore men's captain R. Suria said: "We're excited to play in front of our family, friends and supporters. We've learnt a lot from our recent outings at major tournaments such as last year's World Championships and have been working hard to improve all areas of our game in preparation of the Men's WFCQ - AOFC.

"Floorball is a sport we love and enjoy playing, so we hope the fans who come also enjoy the matches and get to learn a little more about the sport."

These two tournaments will also kickstart the inaugural Singapore Floorball Series, which will include fringe activities such as coaching workshops.

Singapore Floorball Association president Kenneth Ho said: "In addition to providing valuable competition experience for our current players, we hope these events generate more interest among those who may not be familiar with floorball, as well as inspire our future floorball players through watching top athletes in action."

Singapore Sport Institute chief Su Chun Wei believes that holding these two tournaments here will help to raise the profile of the sport ahead of the International Floorball Federation (IFF) Women's World Floorball Championship (WFC), which Singapore will be hosting next year.

He said: "Our national floorball teams have featured prominently on the international stage in recent years, and the Singapore Floorball Series will provide an opportunity for them to play among the best on home ground.

"By giving Singaporeans a front row view of world class floorball action and a chance to cheer the national teams on as One Team Singapore, we hope the event will inspire the growing base of local floorball enthusiasts and encourage more people to take up the sport."

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