S$40m sports and recreation centre opens in Pasir Ris

Residents of Pasir Ris will have a new S$40 million sports and recreation centre in their neighbourhood, to complement existing sports facilities there.

Deputy Prime Minister and MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC Teo Chee Hean, who officially opened the centre on Sunday, noted that residents had long wanted the centre in Pasir Ris.

He said they can now use it to enjoy a sporty and healthy lifestyle, as well as bond with family and friends.

The centre, which is the 21st of the Singapore Sports Council (SSC), has been open to the public since July 18 this year.

Its swimming complex has more than 20,000 visitors a month, while its ClubFITT Gymnasium has an average of 11,000 users a month.

The popularity of the centre, which also boasts an air-conditioned sports hall, a five-a-side soccer court as well retail space, can be credited to the careful planning of its location and facilities.

DPM Teo said: “We had some discussion whether we should have more futsal courts or more tennis courts, so we have a good balance now.

“And even the facing and design, you can see that it opens out to Pasir Ris Park so we can have activities that sort of spill over into the park. And if it drizzles, we can come into the ‘big void deck’.”

The centre also has green features such as a rainwater-harvesting system, solar panels and vertical “green” walls to reduce heat.

It’s aiming to attain the Building and Construction Authority’s Green Mark platinum award, Singapore’s highest accolade for green buildings.

While watching Team Singapore in action, Mr Teo said he hopes they will at least try to achieve their personal best and be good ambassadors for Singapore in the upcoming SEA Games.

He said he also hopes Singapore’s bid to host the SEA Games in 2015 would mean more of such facilities for its athletes.

Mr Teo said: “It will mean that all the sports facilities will get a little bit of an upgrading here and there to make sure things are up to standard. We will have the new Sports Hub open, I think that will be a wonderful location, and we hope that will also inspire young people, especially between now and 2015, to get into sports, competitive sports.”

Mr Teo also believes such centres are the perfect venue for bonding between family and friends.

The newest centre also comes with Braille and tactile markings for the blind and a ramp for wheelchair users to have easier access to the swimming pools.

Richard Seow, chairman of the Singapore Sports Council, said accessibility is one thing the public want more of.

He said: “We have a lot of running tracks in Singapore, and the question is, do the elderly need to walk around running tracks or can we do other walking trails or paths for them.”

The sports council is now collecting feedback for its 20-year Sports Facilities Master Plan: Vision 2030.

Other areas that the sports masterplan will look at is if more non-traditional sports can also be incorporated into Singapore’s sporting landscape.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 6 Nov 2011

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