TODAYonline: Canoeing on the Bay

April 24, 2014 in Featured, In the Press by Singapore Canoe Federation

2014 Singapore Canoe Marathon

From Left to Right: Acting Minister for Manpower Mr Tan Chuan Jin, Canoeing National Team Captain Tay Zi Qiang

SINGAPORE — The Marina Reservoir, with its spectacular city skyline backdrop, could host the region’s top canoeists during the 2015 South-east Asian (SEA) Games in Singapore from June 5 to 16.

The 10,000-ha catchment area has emerged as a prime site for the Games’ canoeing competition due to its spectator-friendly location, which includes an 11.7km waterfront route linking the Gardens by the Bay, Marina Barrage and the S$1.33 billion Sports Hub, which is expected to be completed in April.

The Marina Reservoir staged the 2011 International Canoe Marathon and inaugural Youth Olympic Games in 2010, and Singapore Canoe Federation (SCF) President Yip Kwan Guan told TODAY the 2015 SEA Games could join that list.

“It is very likely that it (SEA Games canoeing) will be at the Marina Reservoir because we have the facilities and the national athletes are already training there,” he said yesterday. “It will give more visibility to our sport. We also hope to work with partners to make the SEA Games event into a carnival, and are also discussing plans for spectators. It will be good if we can put spectator stands in the Marina Bay Sands area.”

National canoeist Suzanne Seah, who won two gold medals with Stephenie Chen in the women’s K2 200m and K2 500m at last month’s SEA Games in Myanmar, is hoping to compete at next year’s event.

The 24-year-old, who also wants to qualify for this year’s Asian Games in Incheon, may train full-time after she graduates from the Nanyang Technological University — she is a fourth-year sports science and management undergraduate and one of 66 athletes under the Sports Excellence Scholarship — at the end of this year.

“Marina Reservoir is the most spectator-friendly (venue) and more people will be there to watch the races,” said Seah at the 12th Singapore Canoe Marathon at Anchorvale Community Club yesterday. “At the MacRitchie Reservoir you can only see the finish line but at Marina you can see most of the race.”

The SCF has proposed 17 events — including 12 Olympic categories — for the 2015 SEA Games, with five canoeing categories for men and women, and 12 events for kayaking.

The national sports association (NSA) is also lobbying to include canoe polo, a team sport combining water polo, basketball and kayaking and is played in an indoor swimming pool or outdoor pitch, as a demonstration sport before aiming for inclusion as a medal sport at the 2017 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur.

Held for the first time at Anchorvale Community Club, the 12th Singapore Canoe Marathon saw 600 participants compete across four categories in canoe and kayak, with 100 more, including Acting Minister for Manpower and Singapore National Olympic Council member Tan Chuan-Jin, Minister of State for National Development and SCF Adviser Desmond Lee, and Nominated Member of Parliament Nicholas Fang, taking part in the inaugural fun race to raise S$40,000 for the para-canoeing community.

2014 Singapore Canoe Marathon Desmond Lee

Advisor to Singapore Canoe Federation and Minister of State of National Development: Mr Desmond Lee joining the charity paddle to raise funds for Para-Canoeing.


Pandan Reservoir, which can accommodate the minimum 2km course required for rowing events, may stage the 2015 SEA Games rowing competition if rowing is added to the existing 30 sports.

Tan said: “But it’s something we need to look at as the other areas don’t quite have the same distance, so in terms of physical limitations there are some constraints there but we’ll have to examine and take a look and make the decisions.”


By Low Lin Fhoong

Published: January 13, 4:02 AM Source: