Sport in Singapore

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Flag of Singapore.svg

Life in Singapore
The New Singapore National Stadium

Singaporeans participate in a wide variety of sports for recreation as well as for competition. Popular sports include football, basketball, cricket, rugby union, swimming, badminton, and cycling. Public residential areas usually provide amenities like swimming pools, outdoor spaces (football, basketball courts, running tracks)[1] and indoor sport centres, with facilities for badminton, squash, table tennis, gymnastics, indoor basketball and volleyball, among others.

Living on an island surrounded by the ocean, the people of Singapore also enjoy many water activities including sailing, kayaking and waterskiing. There is also a number of avid recreational scuba divers, a prominent diving spot being the southern island of Pulau Hantu, famous for its coral reefs.

Association football is arguably the most popular spectator sport. Singapore has its own professional football league, known as the Singapore Premier League (formerly the S.League). Launched in 1996, it consists of 10 teams competing with each other. Each team has its own home stadium, located mainly in heartland towns. In 1998, 2004, 2007 and 2012, the Singapore national football team were champions in the AFF Championship, the premier football competition in Southeast Asia.

While not a major sporting power, Singapore's athletes have performed well in regional and international competitions, especially in table tennis, badminton, sepak takraw, bowling, sailing, silat, swimming and water polo. To date, Singapore has won one gold and two silver Olympic medals - a silver at the 1960 Rome Summer Olympics by weightlifter Tan Howe Liang and another at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics in the women's double table tennis by Singapore players (Li Jiawei, Feng Tianwei and Wang Yuegu). Joseph Schooling won a gold in the 100m butterfly at the 2016 Rio Olympics. The country has come close to winning bronze medal thrice (all in women's single table-tennis - fourth-place finishes in 2000, 2004 and 2008). In the 2002 Asian Games in Busan, Singapore won 5 gold, 2 silver, and 10 bronze medals. In the 2017 SEA Games Singapore squash players also won team gold medals in Kuala Lumpur.


Favourite Singaporean sports include outdoor sports such as soccer, basketball, cricket, swimming, sailing and various indoor sports such as table tennis and badminton. Most Singaporeans live in public residential areas with amenities such as public swimming pools, outdoor basketball courts and indoor sport complexes nearby. As might be expected on an island, water sports such as sailing, kayaking and water skiing are popular. Scuba diving is another recreation, particularly around the southern island of Pulau Hantu which is known for its rich coral reefs.[2]

Domestic competition[edit]

Singapore has its own soccer (soccer) league, the S-League, formed in 1994,[3] currently comprising 12 clubs including foreign teams.[4] Other foreign clubs are interested in joining.[5] The Singapore Slingers joined the Australian National Basketball League in 2006, which they left in 2008.[6] They are one of the inaugural teams in the ASEAN Basketball League founded in October 2009.[7] Beginning in 2008, Singapore started hosting a round of the Formula One World Championship. The race was staged at the Marina Bay Street Circuit in the Marina Bay area and became the first night race on the F1 calendar[8] and the first street circuit in Asia.[9]

Government-sanctioned programs[edit]

The Government of Singapore sanctions a variety of sports-based programs for Singapore's education system in addition to normal physical education. The National Physical Fitness Award (NAPFA) was introduced in 1982, a scheme which requires the mandatory participation of all students within primary and secondary education. The scheme gives awards for a variety of physical tests for endurance, cardiovascular fitness and strength, including a medium-distance run of 1.6 or 2.4 kilometres for primary and secondary students respectively, and the results are reflected in each student's report book. As such, although gaining an award is not mandatory, students are often pressured to do so.

In addition, the government sponsors the Singapore Sports School which opened on 2 April 2004, combining a secondary school curriculum with professional training in each student's preferred sport, in an attempt to nurture future generations of sportsmen and sportswomen. The concept behind the Sports School is that sporting talent should not be compromised when striving for academic excellence.

Youth Olympic Games[edit]

On 21 February 2008 the International Olympic Committee announced[10] that Singapore won the bid to host the inaugural 2010 Summer Youth Olympics. Singapore beat Moscow in the final by 53 votes to 44.[11] On 15 September 2010, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports Teo Ser Luck announced that Singapore will start off the Singapore Biennale Games initiative to keep up the Singapore Youth Olympic Games 2010 Legacy, to be held every 2 years, starting from year 2011.[12]

Rugby union[edit]

Rugby was introduced to the British colony of Singapore in the late nineteenth century. It has had a steady presence since the beginning of the 20th century, when the Malay Cup between Singapore national rugby union team and Malaya was established, which is one of the oldest rugby competitions in the world.[13]

List of achievements[edit]


  • Li Li
    • 2002, Gold, Commonwealth Games in Manchester, Women's Singles
  • Ronald Susilo
    • 2004, Gold, Japan Open singles
  • Wong Peng Soon
    • 1950, 1951, 1952, 1955, Champion, All-England Cup



  • Joan Liew Lee Ting
    • 2011, 1st place, NPC Tournament of Champions held in USA
    • 2010, 2nd place, NPC Tournament of Champions held in USA
    • 2009, 1st place, Multi Asian Championships (over 52 kg)
    • 2006, 1st place, Asian Women's Open Invitational Championships in Singapore (Welterweight)
    • 2006, Guest posing at Singapore Bodybuilding Championships in Singapore
    • 2002, Gold, Asian Women's bodybuilding Championships in China
    • 2001, Guest posing at Singapore Bodybuilding Championships in Singapore
    • 2001, 7th place, 6th World Games in Japan (over 52 kg)
    • 2000, Gold, Asian Bodybuilding Championships
  • Abdul Halim bin Haron
    • 2000, Bronze, Asian Championship, welterweight (75 kg)
    • 2002, Gold, Asian Games in Busan, bantamweight (65 kg)
  • Azman bin Abdullah
    • 1993, Gold, IOC-sanctioned World Games Bodybuilding Championships, middleweight
    • 1993, Gold, World Bodybuilding Championships, middleweight
    • 3-time Mr Asia
  • Simon Chua
    • 2002, Gold, Asian Games in Busan, welterweight (75 kg)
    • 2002, Gold, Commonwealth Bodybuilding Championships in Calcutta, welterweight (75 kg)
    • 2003, Bronze, commonwealth bodybuilding champs


  • Adelene Wee Chin Suan
    • 1985, won 3 Golds at Asian FIQ Youth Championships, in Singles, Masters, and Team
    • 1985, won Ladies Masters champion, World FIQ Championship in London
  • Jesmine Ho
    • 2001, Masters Champion, World Bowling Masters Championship in Abu Dhabi
  • Jennifer Tan
    • 2002, Masters Champion, World Bowling Masters Championship in Denmark
  • Remy Ong
    • 2002, won 3 Golds, Asian Games in Busan, Single, Trios, and Masters




  • Peter Gilchrist
    • 1994, WPBSA World Champion
    • 2001, WPBSA World Champion
    • 2009, Gold Medalist, English Billiards (Singles), SEA Games
    • World Record for highest billiard break at 1346[14]


Singapore National Stadium


In 2005, the Singaporean team won the Asian Netball Championship with a win over the Malaysian team with a score of 53–39 at the Finals.




  • Sheik Alauddin
    • 1990, Gold, World Silat Championships in the Netherlands, 80–85 kg
    • 1994, Gold, World Silat Championships in Thailand, Men's Open
  • Muhammad Shakir Bin Juanda
    • 2012, World Pencak Silat Championships in the Class-I (85–90 kg) category[15]
    • 2016, World Pencak Silat Championships in the Class-I (85–90 kg) category
  • Sheik Farhan
    • 2015, World Pencak Silat Championships in the Class-J (90-95 kg) category
    • 2016, World Pencak Silat Championships in the Class-J (90-95 kg) category



  • Ang Peng Siong
    • 1982, Gold, US swimming Championships, 50 m freestyle, with 22.69 s, fastest time in 1982
    • 1982, Gold, Asian Games in New Delhi, 100 m freestyle
    • 1990, Silver, Asian Games, 50 m freestyle
  • Neo Chwee Kok
    • 1951, won 4 Golds, Asian Games in New Delhi, 1500 m, 400 m, 800 m freestyle, 4 × 100 m relay
  • Junie Sng Poh Leng
    • 1978, won 2 Golds, Asian Games, 400 m freestyle, 800 m freestyle, breaking Asian Games record in both events
  • Joscelin Yeo
    • 1993, won 9 Golds, 1 Silver, Southeast Asia Games
    • 1994, won 1 Bronze, Asian Games, 100 m fly
    • 1995, won 7 Golds, 2 Silvers, Southeast Asia Games
    • 1997, won 3 Golds, 1 Silver, 2 Bronzes, Southeast Asia Games
    • 1999, won 6 Golds, 2 Silvers, 1 Bronze, Southeast Asia Games
    • 2000, member of world-record setting and NCAA Championships, 200 m medley relay, with teammates from University of California
    • 2001, won 3 Golds, 4 Silvers, Southeast Asia Games,
    • 2002, won 1 Bronze, Asian Games in Busan, 100 m fly
    • 2003, won 4 Golds, 1 Silver, Southeast Asia Games,
  • Thum Ping Tjin
  • Tao Li
    • 2005, won 3 Golds and 1 Bronze, 23rd Southeast Asian Games
    • 2006, won 1 Gold and 1 Bronze at the 2006 Asian Games, another 1 Gold and 1 Bronze at Milo Asia Swimming Championships
    • 2007, won 4 Golds, 24th Southeast Asian Games
    • 2008, made it into the finals for the 100m butterfly event at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, set two Asian records and the national record in the process, became the eighth fastest butterfly swimmer in the world and the first Singaporean swimmer to enter an Olympic final.
  • Joseph Schooling

Table tennis[edit]

  • Li Jiawei
    • 2001, Won 4 Golds, Commonwealth Championships in New Delhi
      • Woman's Singles,
      • Woman's Double, with Jing Junhong
      • mixed doubles, with Duan Yongjun
      • Women's Team Champion
    • 2002, Won 3 Golds, Commonwealth Championships,
      • Woman's Double, with Jing Junhong
      • mixed doubles, with Duan Yongjun
      • Women's Team Champion
    • 2003, Won US Open
    • 2004, Won US Open
  • Jing Junhong
    • 2001, Win 2 Golds, Commonwealth Championships, New Delhi
      • Woman's Double, with Li Jiawei
      • Women's Team Champion
    • 2002, Won 2 Golds, Commonwealth Championships,
      • woman's Double, with Li Jiawei
      • Women's Team Champion
  • Duan Yongjun
    • 2001, Gold, Commonwealth Championships, mixed doubles, with Li Jiawei
    • 2002, Gold, Commonwealth Championships, mixed doubles, with Li Jiawei
  • Feng Tianwei
  • Wang Yuegu


  • Ng Ming Wei
    • 2017, Gold, Commonwealth Championships (Men's -58 kg)
    • 2015, Bronze, Southeast Asian Games (Men's -54 kg)

Track and field[edit]

Weight lifting[edit]

  • Chua Phung Kim
    • 1962, Gold, Commonwealth Games, bantamweight
    • 1970, Silver, Commonwealth Games, bantamweight
  • Tan Howe Liang
    • 1958, Gold, Asian Games in Tokyo
    • 1958, Gold, commonwealth Games, lightweight
    • 1960, Silver, Summer Olympic Games in Rome, lightweight
    • 1962, Gold, commonwealth Games, middleweight


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Outdoor basketball courts in Singapore".
  2. ^ "About us". The Hantu Bloggers.
  3. ^ "About S-League". Football Association Singapore. 2008.
  4. ^ "French And Chinese Teams Join Singapore's S-League". 21 January 2010.
  5. ^ Shine, Ossian (8 October 2010). "Opinion split over foreign teams in Singapore league". Reuters Football. Archived from the original on 14 July 2012.
  6. ^ "History". Singapore Slingers.
  7. ^ "ASEAN Basketball League takes off". FIBA Asia. 20 January 2009.
  8. ^ "News – Singapore confirms 2008 night race" (Press release). Archived from the original on 13 June 2007. Retrieved 18 May 2007.
  9. ^ "SingTel to sponsor first Singapore Grand Prix" (Press release). 16 November 2007. Retrieved 10 December 2007.
  10. ^ "Youth Olympic Games 2010 (Singapore)" (Press release). Archived from the original on 26 February 2008. Retrieved 15 March 2008.
  11. ^ "Singapore won bid to host the inaugural 2010 Summer Youth Olympics" (Press release). Archived from the original on 26 May 2012. Retrieved 22 April 2010.
  12. ^ S, Ramesh (15 September 2010). "S'pore to kick off first Biennale Games in 2012". Channel NewsAsia. Retrieved 10 December 2010.
  13. ^ Bath, Richard (ed.) The Complete Book of Rugby (Seven Oaks Ltd, 1997 ISBN 1-86200-013-1) p71
  14. ^ "Highest billiard break-world record set by Peter Gilchrist". Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  15. ^ Yizhe, Koh. ""I was thinking of quitting the sport" – silat world champion, Muhammad Shakir (Part 1)". RED SPORTS.
  16. ^ "Joseph Schooling is Singapore's first Olympic champion". Channel NewsAsia. Mediacorp. 13 August 2016. Archived from the original on 14 August 2016. Retrieved 15 January 2017.

External links[edit]