Save Kallang Squash Center (Singapore)
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New development plans for Kallang Squash Center, Netball Center and Tennis Center were announced on Aug 7 2019 (Straits Times) These 3 facilities will make way for a Kallang Alive Youth Park. Tennis will have a new center near Kallang Leisure Park to house the new Tennis Academy. Netball will be moved to Toa Payoh.
Sadly, there are no plans for Squash till date. Kallang Squash Center (KSC) has the best public facility in Singapore though it is still lacking compared to Squash Centers in the region.
Squash is Thriving and Medal-Winner for Singapore
Squash has a long history in Singapore and continues to thrive. Not only are we seeing Singapore Squash producing great athletes who bring glory to our nation in regional games, we also see consistent growth and interest amongst the younger kids, youths, working adults and retirees. They form interest groups, training academies and clubs to be engaged in this sport.
In the 2015 SEA games, Squash garnered 1 Gold, 1 Silver and 4 Bronzes for Singapore. Performance improved substantially at the 2017 SEA games, where Squash won 3 Golds, 1 Silver and 2 Bronzes. At the 2017 SEA games, Squash exceeded or equalled the gold medal haul for all sports except sailing, swimming and table-tennis.
Insufficient Squash Facilities
Despite this improving performance and strong interest in the sports amongst the youth, the sport is ham-strung by the lack of squash facilities.
Currently, Singapore has only 24 public squash courts across 5 locations (Kallang, Yio Chu Kang, Burghley, MOE Evans and St Wilfred). KSC constitutes 30% of this already tight capacity. The remaining 70% of public squash courts are in aging and deplorable facilities. They are also much less accessible.
KSC is consistently 100% booked after school hours, during the holidays and weekends. The availability of public squash courts is already a huge issue for the squash community in Singapore. Without adequate squash facilities, squash would cease to be one Singapore’s top performing sports in regional games.
Squash is also a sport which is conducive for space-constrained Singapore as the courts can be built multi-storied.
Why is Kallang Squash Centre pivotal to Singapore Squash?
A) Need for a central and accessible flagship facility
i) To groom our talent pipeline
- Kallang is a central location for players from different schools, for those living or working in different zones of Singapore to get to (unlike Yio Chu Kang or Burghley). Kallang is accessible via mrt and bus (unlike Burghley). Taking into consideration that many coaches and players (local and international) do not drive private cars.
- On an annual basis, Kallang Squash Center hosts more than 15 tournaments - 8 Junior Tournaments, 5 Senior Circuits, the National Inter-school Tournaments for (A,B & C division), Pesta Sukan and many corporate tournaments.
- It is also the training venue for many schools (which do not have squash facilities in their schools), the National Team, the Ultimate Squasher Academy (more than 120 students) and many Squash interest groups. It is the most vibrant Squash facility in Singapore.
ii) To host International and Regional Tournaments
- KCS has core facilities and amenities to host local and international squash events which are critical to giving our Singapore players international exposure and competition experience.
- KSC is the ONLYrespectable facility (with spectator seating) that can host international competitions.
- Nestled in the vicinity of other sports centres (tennis, netball, swimming arena etc), it is convenient for organisers and spectators of regional games like SEA games.
B) It holds a special place for the Squash fraternity
i) This is where Squash greats were raised, namely; Zainal Abidin, Peter Hill, Anthony Chua, Mah Li Lian, Della Lee, Joannah Yue. This is where SINGAPORE dominated Asian Squash and won 4 golds in 1993 Sea Games. KSC hosted great players like Nicol David, Michelle Martin, Carol Owens, Peter Nicol, Ramy Ashour, Jansher Khan played in SINGAPORE Opens and Exhibitions Matches.
ii) Has historically been The SG Squash Centre
All key local and international tournaments and events have been held at KSC. It has a presence and reputation established amongst local as well as international players. All the national trainings are held at KSC. This is the place, our home where the national pride of SG Squash births and dwells. It is where the young aspiring squash players watch, train, compete and are motivated by the older, talented national players like Samuel Kang, Aaron Liang, Sneha Sivakumar, Au Yeong Wai Yhann.
Kallang Squash Centre is widely used by Diverse Groups in the Community
- Individuals (younger kids, youths, working adults, retirees)
- Independently formed social groups (e.g. Angry Birds, HPB events)
- Junior squash academies (eg. Ultimate Squasher Academy)
- National training squad
The community understands the need for development in Singapore. However, we would like to petition that Squash should benefit from its fair share of development. Specifically, we would like:
- Squash to be included in the Kallang Alive plans
- Kallang Squash capacity to be expanded (from 7 to 10 courts)
- To provide Singapore Squash with a “home ground”in Kallang that is not only inspiring to Singaporeans but also presentable and effective in hosting international events.
- Interim facilities while the Kallang courts are being redeveloped.
Straits Times Article:
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