$120,000 boost for squash as SEA Games looms
After years of neglect, Singapore squash is dreaming of a revival, and now it has received a huge boost from one of the most recognisable local dairy and beverage brands.
At the Singapore Island Country Club yesterday, the Singapore Squash Rackets Association (SSRA) and Marigold announced a sponsorship deal worth $120,000 that will run from now until the SEA Games here in June.
Speaking to The New Paper, SSRA president Woffles Wu (right) said: "For years, squash didn't have the support that it needed to be the great sport that it used to be on our shores.
"But, with the help of a passionate sponsor in Marigold, we can say that for now, there is light at the end of the tunnel."
The sponsorship will see $70,000 pumped into marketing and creating online content like games apps in order to boost interest in squash.
The remaining $50,000 will be spent on the national team, with the SSRA planning to send the squad on overseas trips and high-level training ahead of the Games.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the sponsorship is the Marigold South-east Asia Cup.
The tournament, which will be a warm-up for the Games, will see players from the region doing battle at the Singapore Island Country Club from tomorrow to Saturday.
"There is currently a dearth of tournaments for our national athletes to participate in," said Wu.
"So having an extra tournament on the calendar gives our players a chance to further test themselves."
Singapore will field a 10-strong squad for the five events at the Games - the men's and women's singles and team events, along with the men's jumbo doubles.
While the Marigold agreement will be over after the Games, Wu believes squash will continue to grow.
"We are definitely going to look for sponsors before the Games comes around, to ensure that there is a steady stream of money invested in squash," he said.
- HAIQAL SARI