SINGAPORE -The Republic will host an international boccia tournament from May 29 to June 2 for the first time in 10 years, boosted by a donation of over $70,000 from homegrown brand Tiger Balm.
The Tiger Balm Boccia Open, organised by the Singapore Disability Sports Council, will take place at Heartbeat@Bedok. The 35 athletes from Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Korea include Singaporean Paralympian Toh Sze Ning and Thailand's Worawut Saengampa, the current world No. 1 in the BC2 category.
Ms Sim Ann, Senior Minister of State for the Ministry of Community, Culture and Youth and Ministry of Communications and Information, will welcome the teams at the opening ceremony on May 30.
The last international boccia tournament held here was in 2008.
Wee Ee Lim, president and chief executive of Haw Par Corporation Limited, which owns the Tiger Balm brand, said: "We are pleased to be able to do our part to contribute to the wellbeing of our society through our sponsorship of the SDSC's boccia programme and we are proud to support Boccia Open 2018.
"We believe this to be a worthwhile endeavour as it showcases the achievements of the boccia athletes from different countries as they pit their skills against one another. We applaud the courage and determination of the boccia athletes."
SDSC president Kevin Wong added: "The Tiger Balm Singapore Boccia Open is a precious opportunity for our para athletes to gain exposure to the pressure and demands of international competition, and we are very glad to have the support from Haw Par to bring this event back to Singapore again after an absence of 10 years."
The athletes - 17 from Singapore, eight from Thailand, seven from Korea and Three from Malaysia - will compete across four categories. They are the BC1, BC2, BC3 and BC4 classes. Three titles are on offer in each class: Individual, pair and team.
Public outreach sessions will also take place on May 27 and May 30 at the atrium of Heartbeat@Bedok, where members of the public can have fun in mini challenges adapted from boccia. Challengers can redeem Tiger Balm products or limited edition Team Singapore Tee-shirts. Organised groups that sign up with SDSC at https://goo.gl/asEn3R can also enjoy a guided tour to witness tournament action.