Team sports back under pilot scheme, Latest Others News - The New Paper

Team sports back under pilot scheme

SportSG gets over 200 applications under the programme, which covers 9 sports

A heavy downpour last night did little to deter trainee engineers Noor Hakim, Muhamad Noor Hakeem and their eight friends from taking eagerly to the futsal court at Pasir Ris Sport Centre the moment they could.

Their session had been delayed by nearly an hour owing to inclement weather, but they were happy to wait, for they had already waited two years to play futsal.

The former Singapore Institute of Technology schoolmates used to meet at least once a week to play football and badminton, before school commitments and the pandemic put a stop to that.

So they jumped at the chance to play when a friend - who rushed to book the court when the pilot scheme allowing the resumption of team sports for up to 10 fully vaccinated people was announced on Monday - invited them to join a futsal session.

Hakeem, 25, said: "I've been doing workouts by myself, so I feel really happy that we're able to come together and that I'm able to do a sport that I really love and haven't been able to do for a while.

"We're all working from home, so we hardly get to meet one another, so it's really fun."

The pilot scheme is an encouraging development for weekend warriors as it is the first time 10 people have been allowed to play sports together since the pandemic - eight was the previous maximum number during phase three of Singapore's reopening from last December to May.

That number dropped to five in May and is currently two, outside of the pilot.

Under the scheme, members of the public are allowed to make vaccination-differentiated safe management measures and antigen rapid test (ART) bookings for nine sports, including futsal, basketball and tennis, at 12 ActiveSG and 20 People's Association facilities.

The participants have to take an on-site ART at the venue 30 minutes before each game and produce a valid negative result there before the activity.

But recreational athletes like Hakim said it was no trouble. He said: "We're doing our part. Moving forward, this is the new norm. It's inevitable for us to have to do ARTs. The officers here are polite and efficient too."

Futsal player Daniel Leong, who was at St Wilfred Field with eight friends, was glad to be back playing in bigger groups.

The Singapore Management University undergraduate, who usually plays futsal once every two months, had tried adapting to formats that were in line with the Covid-19 restrictions, but felt that it was not the same.

Leong, 22, said: "We stopped playing during Covid-19 recently and tried to play only when the restrictions were more relaxed. So when it was groups of five, we just did three-versus-two and had a kick-around.

"Now that they allow groups of 10, we can play a team game and it's so much more competitive and fun."

While the futsal courts were busy yesterday, the take-up rate for other sports under the scheme was not as high on the first day.

There were no bookings for the volleyball and basketball courts at Our Tampines Hub when The Straits Times visited yesterday afternoon. There were also no badminton players under the scheme at Toa Payoh Sports Hall when ST was there, although one booking was made yesterday.

ST understands that bookings for ActiveSG facilities are typically made two weeks in advance. Since the scheme was announced, Sport Singapore has received more than 200 applications under the scheme.

Resumption of team sports: Where to play

  • Badminton: Changi Simei CC,

Kampong Kembangan CC, Joo Chiat CC, The Frontier CC, Keat Hong CC, Jurong Green CC, Bukit Merah CC, Marymount CC, Zhenghua CC, Marsiling CC, ACE The Place CC, Anchorvale CC, Toa Payoh Sports Hall, Pasir Ris Sport Hall, Sengkang Sports Hall, Jurong West Sports Hall

  • Basketball: Ayer Rajah CC, Bukit

Panjang CC, Punggol CC, Pasir Ris East CC, Our Tampines Hub: Team Sports Hall

  • Futsal (5v5): Our Tampines Hub,

St Wilfred Field, Pasir Ris 5-a-side Soccer Pitch

  • Pickleball: Whampoa CC, Jurong West Sports Hall
  • Sepak takraw: Marsiling CC
  • Table tennis: Bedok CC, Keat Hong CC, Hougang Swimming Complex, Sengkang Sport Centre
  • Tchoukball: Ang Mo Kio CC
  • Tennis: St Wilfred Tennis Centre, Pasir Ris Tennis Centre, Yio Chu Kang Tennis Centre
  • Volleyball: Our Tampines Hub: Team Sports Hall

*There are specific time slots to make bookings under the pilot programme at certain venues.

Refer to: and for more information.