Touch Singapore – Press Release July 2020

July 24, 2020

Growing Sport Seeks To Accelerate Development At Grassroots And Elite Levels

with newly elected executive board and following the success of local and international competitions

Singapore, July 20, 2020

“Focusing our efforts on grassroots development of local talent is at the heart of the growth agenda of Touch Singapore. Our ambition is to get a ball in the hands of more local children from the age of 6 upwards and for Touch to be adopted into the local schools’ curriculum as soon as possible, in line with the successful introduction we have seen in the International schools’ system.”

– Chris Hallewell, TSG President

On June 13, the Touch Singapore AGM was held over zoom and a new board was elected. AGM minutes here. The newly elected board will be expanding on TSG’s existing efforts which have been highly successful in elevating the sport locally and internationally. In addition to grassroots development, a key goal of the new board includes improving their elite pathways programs with the hope that it will then have a domino effect on other areas it is working on. The medal achievements from the past three Touch World Cups have demonstrated that Singapore has the capability to compete on the biggest stage in world Touch Football. However, in order to maintain the standing, there is a realisation that greater investment is needed in the elite pathways development for both players and coaches if Singapore is to remain competitive. TSG is not currently afforded NSA status but is hoping to achieve this, which will firstly allow the association to benefit from the operational support available from Sports SG but also to attract corporate sponsors that recognise the opportunity to associate their brands with a fast-paced and dynamic sport that enjoys a growing audience base. As Singapore looks to maintain its standing as one of the leading nations on the international scene it will be vital to continue the two-pronged attack to develop at the grassroots level which in turn will support the efforts to build the pathways to elite level.

Although Touch Football has existed in Singapore since 1998, the association was officially founded in 2017 when an executive board led by president Jeslyn Lim was established. It’s main goal was to bring stability to a sport, which had experienced significant challenges under the administration of a previous governing body that had lost the confidence of the community. With the inception of Touch Singapore, the efforts of the outgoing Executive board ensured that a solid foundation of stable governance was introduced and this was supported strongly by the Touch Football community. Currently, the Touch community consists of over 5,000 recreational players, school players, national players, coaches and referees, a group that is constantly growing and is dedicated to the development of the sport. Participation in the National league is open to anyone from any background from ages 13 and above. It has grown in tune with the rise of participation level of touch in Singapore, with an increase of 120% in the number of teams. Singapore also entered a record 8 teams at the 2019 Touch World Cup, the 4th largest contingent behind powerhouse nations Australia, New Zealand and England demonstrating the popularity of the sport. Full fact sheet here. Both the effort from the executive board and support from the Touch community and its stakeholders has aided to catapult Singapore onto an international stage and gaining recognition as a leading nation in APAC. Besides delivering our own tournaments, TSG has also consistently offered and given support to community Touch tournaments organized locally such as Fun Touch & Beach Touch, providing operational, marketing and referee support, which is critical for the development of the game and players.

Despite the disruption of Covid-19, TSG is continuing its efforts to support local clubs, schools and universities with their small group training, carefully navigating the return to play protocols to ensure the safety of all members of the community. TSG is closely monitoring the guidelines from Sports SG and the Singapore government, developing a number of materials to support coaches with clear phase 2 guidelines along with a framework of drills and exercises that can be completed for the community to utilise in accordance with government policy. TSG is also seeking clarification from Sports SG on the expected timing for the introduction for phase 3 and planned measures in order to plan the national league programme which had originally been scheduled to commence Mid-August but is under review pending the latest updates.

“I am very excited to be working with such a talented and capable team serving on the TSG Executive Committee. The elected team is highly regarded in the Touch community with many years of experience both domestically and internationally. We are looking forward to serving our community and are now working hard to plan our deliverable objectives for the two years ahead, continuing the efforts of the previous board. Obviously our first job is to safely navigate the complex return to play pathways ensuring our community is as safe as possible both now and for when we return to competition” – Chris Hallewell, TSG President

Please see the TSG Fact Sheet below for more information:

TSG Fact Sheet