Mr Ong Teng Koon: To ask the Minister for Culture, Community and Youth with the demolition of the Kallang Squash Centre (a) whether Singapore will have a venue capable of hosting international squash tournaments and elite level training for squash players; (b) what are the plans to provide an alternative venue; (c) whether there are plans to include squash facilities for the Kallang Alive project; (d) whether squash has the potential to be an important contributor to Singapore's sporting success at international tournaments, and (e) whether there is a decline in the number of public squash facilities since the 1990s and, if so, whether there are plans to reverse this decline.
Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth:
- Sport Singapore (SportSG) currently manages 24 squash courts across five locations – Burghley, Kallang, MOE (Evans), St. Wilfrid and Yio Chu Kang – which have been open to the public since the 1980s. The average utilisation rate for these courts during peak periods has remained stable at around 70% over the past three years. But it has been uneven, with the ten courts at the Burghley and Evans Road sites seeing peak demand at less than 60% of its capacity.
- SportSG has been engaging the Singapore Squash Rackets Association (SSRA) on the replacement facilities for the Kallang Squash Centre since 2018. In the meantime, SportSG has identified Burghley and Yio Chu Kang as potential locations for the interim National Training Centre for our elite athletes, and will continue to work with the SSRA on the interim and longer-term infrastructure plans for the sport.
- The squash fraternity has done well and Singaporeans can be proud of their sporting achievements. In the recently concluded Southeast Asian Games held in the Philippines, Singapore’s squash team won two silver and three bronze medals. Squash’s continued success will require the fraternity and its supporters to work together for its longer-term development. SportSG will be happy to partner the SSRA on its goals for the sport, and work with the squash fraternity and the community to support these goals.