PA planning to refresh and remake community clubs

The People’s Association (PA) is planning to update the look and feel of community clubs to retain its attractiveness to residents.

The community clubs (CCs) of today are already a far cry from the community centres in the 1960s.

But PA’s Deputy Chairman Lim Boon Heng said community clubs face stiff competition these days from places such as SAFRA clubhouses which are larger, malls and Clarke Quay clubs.

To improve with the times, issues such as space, location and funding of the CCs are being looked into.

Space-wise, for example, has remained the same for the past 20 to 30 years.

To gain greater popularity and to maintain its aim of creating community cohesion, Mr Lim said CCs may need to work with others to promote fun activities, such as joint marketing with other CCs or tie-ups with malls.

He said: “At the same time, the skills of grassroots leaders will have to be upgraded, in the sense that in the past it was relatively easy for the people to find the CC interesting.

“Today, because of the competition, you need to have the skills of marketing. So how do we make sure that the grassroots leaders have those skills of marketing? That is where the training institute of PA comes into play. We have to do these various things to refresh and remake the CC.”

On the timeline for these changes, Mr Lim said: “Some ideas are easier to implement and they will be rolled out in the next year. Others – such as the CC of the future – will require more study and that will take a year or two.”

A People’s Association internal working committee has been looking at this issue since last year. – CNA/so

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 16 Mar 2008

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