With free admission offered to half of the 36 disciplines featured in the June 5 to 26 SEA Games, which Singapore will be hosting for the fourth time since 1973, the public sale of other ticketed events will open at 10am today.
The city-state, nestled between Malaysia and Indonesia, will be marking the return of the biennial games as a “celebration of the extraordinary” that also marks the key milestone of its 50th anniversary of statehood.
The estimated cost of the games will be S$324 million (US$259 million), less than the S$387 million poured on the first ever Youth Olympic Games four years ago. But its timing, significance and symbolism are immeasurable.
“It is our turn to host the SEA Games after 22 years and this will be a key milestone in Singapore’s 50 anniversary celebrations. The Singapore Sea Games Organising Committee [SINGSOC] will strive to deliver a games that will bring people together in a fitting and memorable celebration,’’ chairman of the SINGSOC Executive Committee Lim Teck Yin said recently
One of Singapore’s most fashionable thoroughfares, Orchard Road, will be the scene of a mass rally on March 7 to mark the unveiling of the SEA Games arch, one of the many well thought-out plans by the organisers to connect the event with Singaporeans.
Among the disciplines marked out for free entrance are: archery, softball, tennis, squash, rowing, canoeing/kayaking, sailing, traditional boat racing, water skiing, cycling, golf, triathlon, bowling, shooting, petanque, hockey and floorball.
The price of tickets for the remaining 18 disciplines will range from $5 to $20, and in that highest bracket are aquatics, badminton, football, gymnastics and table tennis.
Home expectations modest
Meanwhile, the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia is awaiting the clearance from the Ministry of Education and Sport the final list of participants from the Kingdom.
The Cambodian contingent to Singapore is expected to be in the region of 300 including officials, with 23 disciplines represented.
The noninclusion of wrestling in Singapore has dealt Cambodia’s medal hopes a serious blow, while the absence of the non-Olympic vovinam will also hurt as these events had brought the Kingdom a clutch of medals in the past.
However, Cambodia heaved a sigh of relief when the SINGSOC, added petanque in the second list of six disciplines to the original 30 announced in December of 2013 after the Myanmar edition.
“We have to keep our medal hopes modest this time. Our priority will be to defend the medals we have won before in the events we will be competing in Singapore,’’ the secretary-general of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia Vath Chamroeun said.
While floorball and netball are the only two traditional sports to be included for the 2015 edition, there are 24 Olympic disciplines and the sports that feature in the Asian Games.