Singapore will host a landmark floorball match when two top men's teams from Finland play an official league match at Our Tampines Hub on Nov 18.
The teams are Classic and TPS, who were seeded first and fourth respectively in the Salibandyliiga - one of the world's leading floorball leagues - for the 2016-17 season. Finland are ranked No. 1 in the world and are three-time world champions.
Singapore Floorball Association (SFA) general manager Wendy Kuan told The Straits Times yesterday: "The Finnish match came about when Matt (Joutsikoski) first coached us last year. He thought the high level of the teams would help to improve the standard of play here in Singapore.
"The match also serves as a collaboration between the two nations as well as to celebrate Finland's 100th anniversary here in Singapore."
Classic and TPS will be in Singapore from Nov 14 to 20, where they will also hold clinics for the national team as well as for schools prior to their match.
SFA president Kenneth Ho added that the joint effort will also include "bringing in Finnish international coaches down to guide the team".
Kuan added: "It's a significant step for players in Singapore to be exposed to a high standard of floorball and it's a good step for its development here in Singapore."
The move is another sign that the sport is on the up following news that former president Sani Mohamed Salim allegedly misappropriated funds last year.
Yesterday, the women's national team received a $20,000 boost from Nexia TS, a local accounting firm. The team will travel to Bratislava, Slovakia for the Dec 1-9 World Championships.
Ho said: "It (the sponsorship) solves some of the girls' financial difficulties in travelling to Slovakia; $20,000 is quite a lot in terms of covering airfares and stuff. Previously they had to pay on their own.
"We are honoured and excited by the support from a company such as Nexia TS, a truly locally owned company, to pick sports as one of their priories to help, and to assist in providing an opportunity for Team Singapore to be able to compete at the highest level of sport."
The SFA also unveiled its new apparel sponsor for the men's team, Sports360. The deal, which runs till December next year, will see the team attired in Thorb jerseys. It is worth $28,000 in kind.
Ho also said that the association is at a "healthy level of governance" where it has implemented a system of tighter checks and balances so that there "will not be a repeat of" the Sani incident.
He added that it is "getting audit statements in and will work with national sports agency Sport Singapore to release funds".