Parliament: Another $25 million in Covid relief measures for Singapore's sports industry

SINGAPORE – Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong on Thursday (Oct 15) announced in Parliament a Sports Resilience Package (SRP) that will see a further $25 million pumped into the sports sector as it deals with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

This will come in the form of operating grants amounting to $13.5 million to help businesses critical to the sports ecosystem offset operating costs from October 2020 to March 2021, and $11.5 million in capability development for the industry.

The SRP will take the government support for the sports sector to $50 million.

In June, some $25 million in relief measures for the industry were also announced, through the Enterprise Innovation & Capability Grant, Active Enabler Programme, creation of temporary jobs, ActiveSG Circle and other digital content initiatives and training opportunities.

Said Mr Tong: “Our sports ecosystem… is made up of a diverse range of different institutions, including the National Sport Associations (NSAs), academies and clubs that are run privately, private leagues, sports facility operators, freelance coaches and many others.

“All of them play an important role in our collective efforts to build a strong pipeline of athletes and to mould and shape (them), supporting them on their quest for competitive success on the international arena.”

The criteria and processes for the SRP operating grant will be announced by national sports agency Sport Singapore (SportSG) in November, although an MCCY spokesman said that businesses that “contribute to building our athlete pipelines”, such as private academies and clubs, private league operators and facility operators, will be eligible.

MCCY will provide a grant equivalent to about 25 per cent of each business’ total operating expenses, capped at $15,000 a month.

Noting the impact the pandemic has had on such operators, Mr Tong added: “We do not want these operators to be a casualty of the pandemic. Our sporting landscape with its broad spectrum of different options, will be the poorer, if that happens.”

As for support measures to enhance capability development, the Blended Initiative – launched in July to events management companies and organisers to adopt digitalisation as a core strategy – will be expanded to include private academies and clubs.

Support will also be provided to businesses and Self-Employed Persons (SEPs) in the sports industry to grow digital capabilities in areas like content development, while sports coaches can receive a training allowance of $10 an hour to take up CoachSG courses. Level 2 and 3 coaches can also apply to participate in CoachSG’s structured mentorship programme.

The government invests $400 million annually toward sports and sports development in Singapore. This includes $70 million annually in the High Performance Sports system – which includes the Spex Scholarship – to support the development of national athletes and NSAs, as well as investing in new and existing public sports infrastructure under the Sports Facilities Master Plan.

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