It’s Official: Singapore will host the 2015 SEA Games
The long wait for the SEA Games to return to Singapore is over.
Following a meeting in Palembang yesterday, the SEA Games Federation approved the Republic’s bid to host the 2015 edition of the biennial Games.
The good news was delivered in person by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, who rushed to the aquatics arena to cheer on Singapore’s swim team after attending the meeting.
“Our neighbours in ASEAN have agreed for us to host the Games and we’re very grateful for that,” he told reporters. “Now we have four years to plan for the Games and, from now on, the planning will take place.”
Singapore first expressed interest in February to stage the event, after Cambodia – the original host – said it did not have the resources to do so. Singapore officially announced its bid last week. No other bid was put forward.
The way is now clear for the upcoming Sports Hub to mark its inauguration with a major multi-sport event.
Said DPM Teo, who is also president of the Singapore National Olympic Council: “That is where athletics will be held. The swimming facilities will be there and many of the sports for the SEA Games in 2015 will be focused around the Sports Hub.”
The new sports complex at Kallang, being built at a cost of $1.33 billion, will be ready by 2014.
Singapore first hosted the regional event, then known as the Seap Games, in 1973.
It opened its doors to the SEA Games twice before, in 1983 and 1993. It won a record 50 gold medals at the last edition on home soil.
“There’s a lot of work to be done – preparing the venues, and also a new generation of athletes to come forward,” Mr Teo added. “I hope that hosting the Games will give them the inspiration to win medals for us on home ground in 2015.”
Budding stars like 16-year-old national swimmer Joseph Schooling are already thrilled about the prospect.
“Even though it is four years down the road, I am really excited,” he said. “I’ll be psyched up to swim in front of a home crowd. Hopefully, it will be just as electrifying as swimming in front of the Indonesia fans here.”
The next SEA Games in 2013 will be held in Myanmar.
– Terrence Voon