Beach volleyball players and cyclists aged 18 and below can now participate in the 2017 Singapore Youth Olympic Festival (SYOF). These two new sports have been added to the roster for the annual multi-sport festival from 30 June to 13 August. The line-up will now boast a total of 12 sports consisting badminton, 3×3 and 5×5 basketball, cycling, fencing, football 5s, rugby 7s, sailing, shooting, table tennis, taekwondo and beach and indoor volleyball – two more disciplines than 2016.
The inclusion of cycling in the SYOF has spurred Shawn Mun to take part in his first competition. The 14-year-old St Patrick’s School student will be participating in the mountain bike category. He said, “I started to cycle more often two years ago when my parents bought me a mountain bike. I cycle with my friends to many places that I have not explored before, like on the park connector network, Gardens by the Bay and Sentosa. I hope the mileage I have clocked will help prepare me for the competition. I hope to learn more about cycling, make new friends and get to know the cycling community at the Singapore Youth Olympic Festival.”
At the opening ceremony held today at the fencing competition at OCBC Arena Hall 6, 14-year-old Denyse Chan from Raffles Girls’ School, who is competing in the foil category, said, “The Singapore Youth Olympic Festival is very different from other competitions. The whole atmosphere and seeing people my age take charge of running the competition and referee makes me feel so much closer to the fencing community and to the sport. The competition pushes me to work harder to qualify for the 2018 World and Asian championships, and perhaps with a little luck and more hard work, even qualify for the Youth Olympic Games. Like any athlete, my biggest dream would be to fence at the Olympics. But really, I just want to be able to represent Singapore proudly and have fun while fencing!”
Last year, the event attracted a record high of 2,809 participants across 11 sports. With registration for this year’s SYOF still open, organisers are expecting a turnout similar to last year’s. The first edition of the SYOF started in 2011 after Singapore hosted the successful inaugural 2010 Youth Olympic Games.
Said Mr Ng Ser Miang, IOC Executive Board Member and Chairman of the Singapore Olympic Foundation who are the organisers of the SYOF, “This year, we have expanded the sport roster to include beach volleyball and cycling in the Singapore Youth Olympic Festival. The two NSAs involved are very enthusiastic to promote these events and we are happy to support them in their efforts. The increase in participation in recent editions has been very encouraging too, we hope this is a sign of continuing interest in sports among the youth in Singapore.”
Of the 12 sports, four – basketball, badminton, football and volleyball – will be held in conjunction with ActiveSG’s GetActive! Singapore week to celebrate National Day.
The SYOF is supported by ActiveSG, 100PLUS, Gilbert, Ice Mountain, Mikasa Sunrise, Yonex Sunrise and Temasek Club as well as the 12 National Sports Associations.
Notable athletes such as 2014 Youth Olympic sailing gold medallist Bernie Chin and shooting silver medallist Martina Lindsay Veloso have participated in previous editions of the SYOF.
Interested participants can still register for all sports except fencing, sailing, shooting, table tennis and taekwondo via the SYOF website at www.syof.sg. Entry fees vary from sport to sport.