Three top-5 women's hockey nations to play in Singapore
They have brought five-time World Player of the Year, Jamie Dwyer, along with some of his Olympic gold-medal winning teammates here to help train the Republic's men hockey team.
Now, The Project Group (TPG) will be bringing some of the world's best hockey women to Singapore too.
World and Olympic champions Holland, along with Australia and Germany will come to Singapore to play the inaugural TPG International Tri-Series from Jan 18-23 as part of their preparations for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics next August.
Held at the Sengkang Stadium, the venue of the hockey men's thrilling South-east Asia (SEA) Games final against Malaysia, where they fell on penalties after a 2-2 draw, the Tri-Series will be a free event.
Singapore's women won the SEA Games bronze.
"Singapore performed well at this year's SEA Games and we wanted to do something to continue driving interest and support for the sport," said TPG chief executive Paul Lim.
TPG - a consultancy firm focused on the property and construction industry - announced last March its sponsorship of the men's and women's teams of Hockey Australia in their bid for Olympic glory.
Some of the Republic's national men's and women's players are also sponsored by TPG.
At the signing ceremony in Perth, Lim, a former Singapore international goalkeeper, told The New Paper that he aimed to bring the Aussie men's and women's teams over in the lead-up to the Olympics, but has managed a coup in convincing three of the top women's teams instead.
Holland are world No. 1, with Australia one rank lower, while Germany is fifth in the International Hockey Federation rankings.
"We developed the TPG International Tri-Series as a way to continue inspiring our own athletes and more to join the sport," added Lim.
His TPG Academy - which started work last December, with Dwyer and company developing elite male hockey players here, and former German international, Natascha Keller, and her still active compatriot Janne Muller-Wieland, working with the women - is already in full swing.
While details have yet to be revealed, Singapore's women, ranked 44th in the world, will spar with the visiting teams as curtain-raisers to some matches during the series.
- Jan 18: Australia v Germany
- Jan 19: Germany v Holland
- Jan 20: Holland v Australia
- Jan 21: Australia v Germany
- Jan 22: Germany v Holland
- Jan 23: Holland v Australia