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Sentosa among potential venues for 2025 World Aquatics Championships in Singapore

Sentosa, Marina Bay and the Singapore Sports Hub could provide the backdrop when the Republic hosts the World Aquatics Championships in 2025, the first South-east Asian country to do so.

At Sport Singapore’s Spotlight Series on Jan 16, Singapore Aquatics president Mark Chay unveiled a promotional video for the event, which attracts over 2,000 athletes.

The Sports Hub will be the focal point, with plans afoot to hold the swimming and artistic swimming events at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, while water polo and diving will be at the nearby OCBC Aquatic Centre.

Open water swimming and high diving will be at Marina Bay area and Sentosa respectively.

Chay, who is co-chair of the local organising committee, said the World Aquatics Championships and World Aquatics Masters Championships will be in July and August to coincide with National Day celebrations.

Training camps for some of the 200 national federations may be hosted at local and international schools, he noted.

He added that aside from the high-performance offerings, the championships also presented opportunities to mark the country’s 60th year of independence.

He told The Straits Times: “We are still in the planning stages, and it is a work in progress, but it gives a picture of how Singapore could host the event.”

Japan, China and South Korea are the only other Asian countries to have staged the marquee event. Qatar will host the 2024 edition in February.

Said Chay: “A lot of the success we have in hosting events in Singapore is due to the private sector being innovative and thinking outside the box to be able to deliver the standards.

“I hope people in various industries like technology or fintech can be part of Singapore’s story for 2025.”

He was among the 350 stakeholders at the inaugural Spotlight networking series for the sports and fitness industry, where Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong announced several new initiatives and events to boost the sector.

The Sport Data Exchange Singapore, a web-based platform that facilitates the sharing of data among players in the sport ecosystem, was launched.

For the first time, national agency SportSG will avail data from its annual National Sport Participation Survey and selected datasets on ActiveSG facility and gym usage.

Among the benefits is helping sport facility operators, events management companies and fitness instructors to better understand demographics and trends for their businesses.

The Enterprise Innovation and Capability Development Grant, to drive collaborative research and development between sport and adjacent industries and upskill sports professionals, was also enhanced and will fund projects up to $1 million, up from the previous quantum of $180,000.

The inaugural Singapore Urban Sports and Fitness Festival – bringing together a mix of fitness racing, urban sports, mass workouts and sports conferences – will take place in August.

Mr Tong said: “We are on the cusp of a major breakthrough in sports, wellness, innovation and technology.

“With Sport Singapore and our assets at Kallang Alive, we want to be at the centre of that innovation.

“We want to drive these innovative solutions that will enable wellness in Singapore, enable Singaporeans to enjoy sports and push the boundary for all our elite sportsmen and sportswomen to push higher, faster and longer.”