Monday, 28 April 2014

ActiveSG: Free $100 sports credit & lifetime membership for all Singaporeans

No excuses now for staying out of the pool
All citizens, permanent residents to get $100 to spend on sports facilities, fitness classes
By Fabius Chen, The Sunday Times, 27 Apr 2014

It is an offer even the most laid- back of couch potatoes might find hard to resist: free lifetime membership and $100 in credits to enjoy a sporting lifestyle.

That could work out to 100 visits to the swimming pool, 30 hours of table tennis or three months of unlimited gym access. The credits can also be used for fitness classes such as zumba and bokwa.

The game plan is part of Sport Singapore's new ActiveSG movement that aims to encourage people of all ages to get up and embrace a sporting lifestyle.

With all 3.8 million Singaporeans and permanent residents eligible for the $100 worth of ActiveSG$, the Government is dangling a $380 million carrot.

"It's significant enough to get people off to a good start but also something within our budget," said Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong yesterday, at the launch of the movement at Jurong West Sports Centre.

As one of the key recommendations under the Republic's Vision 2030 sports masterplan launched in 2011, ActiveSG will customise programmes for young and old alike - good news given the backdrop of rising obesity levels and an ageing population.

And a new membership portal - - will allow those with similar interests to team up for competitions.

"In the past, the way Sport Singapore's centres operated was to just provide a venue for people to hire," Mr Wong noted. "It was very passive management."

No longer. There are now plans for poolside barbecue areas, free mobile phone charging stations and even a beach arena at some of Sport Singapore's 21 sports and recreation centres and 31 facilities.

"It will take time but the more they get into this and the better the programmes, awareness will start to grow. Word of mouth will spread and more Singaporeans will sign up," said Mr Wong.

Yesterday's day-long event - the first of five open houses lined up across the island over the next two weeks - gave a glimpse of ActiveSG's varied offerings, such as ultimate frisbee and Masala Bhangra (an Indian dance-based workout).

With a target of attracting 200,000 to 250,000 individuals in the next year, the ActiveSG membership drive got off to a promising start yesterday with more than 30,000 coming on board.

Among them were IT manager Toh Kang Soon and his family of four. His six-hour stay at the Jurong West Sports Centre not only gave him an idea of how to spend his ActiveSG$ but also uncovered a hidden talent in his family.

"My younger boy played tennis for the first time today and the coach said he showed a lot of potential," Mr Toh said proudly.

181,000 sign up for ActiveSG sports movement membership
TODAY, 9 May 2014

Sign-up figures for the ActiveSG membership, the national movement by Sport Singapore to get Singaporeans to stay active and keep fit, have hit more than 181,000 since the initiative was launched less than two weeks ago. Sports Singapore revealed this in response to a reader’s letter to TODAY and said the sign-up rate “speaks volumes about Singaporeans’ interest in capitalising on this initiative to get active”.

The ActiveSG movement targets Singaporeans and permanent residents of all ages and abilities. Membership is free and each ActiveSG member receives 100 ActiveSG dollars, which they can use to sign up for sports programmes and utilise facilities at various ActiveSG sports centres islandwide.

Sport Singapore said it aims to sign on 200,000 to 250,000 ActiveSG members in a year, though its vision is for every Singaporean to become a member eventually.

Said Mr Lai Chin Kwang, Sport Singapore’s chief of sports club group: “We have already begun working with some small and medium enterprises on engaging their staff through sport to enhance morale, develop leadership skills and team effectiveness.

“The responses we have received thus far have been very encouraging, and over the next few months, we will continue to roll out our programmes for organisations.”

Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong said the sign-up rate was an encouraging response. “It’s still early days and I hope to see more people sign up as ActiveSG members, to use the ActiveSG$100 to access many activities and facilities nationwide,” he added.

For Ms Charlotte Lee, a 19-year-old student at Temasek Polytechnic, the perks of the membership were what spurred her to sign on.

“It makes booking and accessing information about facilities more convenient. Also, it costs me S$2.50 per trip to the gym, so the ActiveSG$100 perk can last me a very long time.”

However, National University of Singapore undergraduate Nadira Kamal Udeen, 20, said she has not signed up for it as she has access to the school’s gym.

“Since I do not need to use the facilities, I might as well let other people use it,” she said.

ActiveSG Celebrates Its 500,000th Member

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