Not all sports are created equal on this island. Football is more widely-spoken than English here and basketball gets a surprising amount of attention considering the average height of a Singaporean is less than five-eight. So after some serious number crunching (that took into account competition levels, years the sports have been played here and the average number of active players) as well as a few actuary curses (that would make the Osbournes blush), we’ve created the Singapore Sports Index (SSI) to bring you the “free-time” investors’ guide to playing sport here.
Despite being an adult version of rounders (the popular sport played by young British school girls), baseball is surprisingly popular in Singapore. The National Baseball League starts in September and runs through to February.
The Typhoons Baseball Club is a friendly amateur club, that regularly participates in baseball tournaments and welcomes everyone from newbies to mitt veterans.
Fees: $180 per year
Meet: Kallang Baseball Field, in front of Kallang Leisure Park
Play: Sunday 2.30pm
With the popularity of Asian-American basketball star Jeremy Lin (remember Linsanity?) and recently retired NBA star player Yao Ming, it is no surprise Singapore has caught on to the dribbles and hoops phenomenon. The popular BBAXN Midweek Men’s League has over 28 teams competing throughout the year. So whatever your dunking proficiency, get in touch with BBAXN .Register with them as an individual looking for a team and existing team managers will contact you for tryouts. Another similar basketball portal you can try is Jammers Basketball Alliance , which has more than 50 men’s and women’s teams, most of which play in various leagues.
Boxing and Martial Arts
Bam! The noble art of pugilism is dishing out some walloping right hooks here in Singapore so budding Bilboas can easily find places to step into the ring. And, of course, Chinese mainlanders have brought their sacred kung fu to the island. The Indoor Stadium hosts a leg of the One Fighting Championship, which sees Asia’s top mixed martial arts fighters go all out.
Vanda Boxing Club welcomes everyone whose primary focus is a combination of fitness, fun and self-defence. The club has world-class boxing instructors from Thailand and all members are eligible to compete in amateur or pro events. The company is also behind the White Collar Boxing black-tie events that put novice male and female boxers through an intense 12-week training programme that culminates in a public bout in front hundreds of well dressed friends family.
Fees: $200 per month, (minimum 6 months)
Meet: 57 Mohamed Sultan Road, Block F, #01-05 Sultan Link
Play: Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 6pm, Saturday at 10am
Evolve Mixed Martial Arts has popular boxing classes with qualified boxing world champions as full-time instructors. They also offer classes in wrestling, jiu-jitsu and mixed martial arts.
Fees: $200+ per month
Meet: 26 China Street, #01-01
Play: Daily classes with different timeslots
In 1819 when Sir Stamford Raffles claimed Singapore with a British flag, he also set up a wicket and crease. The International Club Twenty20 Tournament in August sees teams from Melbourne, Mumbai, Madras, Colombo and Singapore compete in a three-day cricket carnival on the Padang.
Established in 1852, the Singapore Cricket Club is a social club in the CBD with various sporting teams (including 5 rugby teams as well as squash, football, tennis and netball teams) of different abilities. If you are an advanced cricketer, consider joining its league to participate in tournaments.
Fees: $2,000 per year (sports membership) and $3,500 per year (term membership)
Meet: The Padang
Play: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings
It’s no accident that the Ceylon Sports Club is right next to the Singapore India Association. The family-oriented social club has various teams for every skill level.
Fees: $190 per year
Meet: 101 Balestier Road
Play: Tuesdays and Thursdays 6pm to 10pm
The world’s favourite game is also Singapore’s most popular sport. Football is played under void decks, at neighbourhood parks, in The Cage and at the island’s stadiums. AFC Asian Cup, SEA Games, AFF Suzuki Cup and Singapore Cup are only the tip of the football tournament iceberg.
ESPZEN can match your skill level to both 11-a-side and indoor futsal (five-a-side) teams who are looking for players.
Fees: Only required when you play in the leagues
Meet: All over Singapore
Play: Almost any time, day or night
S. League is Singapore’s professional football league that manages and accepts only the fanciest footwork to represent Singapore in high-profile matches.
Surprisingly, this little island has22 golf courses, and 21 of those are 18-holers. The main golfing event in Singapore is the Barclays Singapore Open which sees the world’s best tee off from Sentosa Island.
Keppel Club is one of the most popular courses for casual players because you can book tee offs online without being a member.
Fees: $60,000/year (ordinary membership), non-members $144 (weekdays, 18 holes) and $205 (weekends, 18 holes)
Meet: Bukit Chermin Road
Play: Monday 7am to 3pm, Tuesday to Sunday 7am to 6pm
Marina Bay Golf Course is an 18-hole public golf course that was voted one of the top three in Asia Pacific for value for money.
Fees: $130 (weekdays, 18 holes) and $225 (weekends, 18 holes)
Meet: 80 Rhu Cross
Play: 7am to 5pm daily
Both field hockey and ice hockey are played here but the former is much more popular, probably because ice lakes only form every 20,000 years or so in Singapore. The Vietnam International Hockey Festival held in October attracts over 20 international field teams from Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand and the UK.
Tornados Hockey Club (tornadoshockey.org.sg) fields three men’s teams of stick wielders of varying levels of competence.
Meet: Delta Hockey Stadium
Play: Wednesdays, 8pm to 10pm
Those determined to play ice hockey on this sunny isle can join the Singapore Blizzards Ice Hockey Club .
Meet: JCube, Olympic ice rink
Play: Fridays, 10.30pm to 3am
Scrummaging was inevitable with so many British, French, South African, Irish, Australian and Kiwi expats living on the island. The best of Singapore’s egg-catching community makes tackles in the Singapore Rugby Union Guinness Premiership.
The Wanderers RFC has four men’s teams ranging from highly competitive to “odds and sods”. They tour Phuket and Jarkarta annually and have participated in the Hong Kong Tens and Bondi Tens.
Fees: $400 per year (includes all match fees, training kit and discounts at Harry’s bars)
Meet: Singapore Baseball and Softball Association, Kallang
Play: Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7.30pm
Bedok Kings has three lively rugby teams that regularly tour the region to participate in friendly games as well as league matches.
Meet: St Andrew’s Junior College
Play: Mondays and Thursdays 7.30pm to 9.30pm
“Let the racket do the talking,” as McEnroe says, at one of the island’s many social clubs or condos that come with a court. If you’re looking for a playing partner, check out Tennis Friendz Network . It’s a tennis forum for racket wielding enthusiasts to find like-minded buddies, tournaments to join and social events.
TB Cougars Tennis Club is a not a club for boyfriend-seeking divorcees, but an informal group of tennis players who meet up to have a knock around on a regular basis. They usually have sessions every day of the week so members can choose when they want to play.
Meet: Various condos, clubs and public courts
Less well-known sports
SSI: AIM $11 +0.8
The torpedo punting community is considered relatively small in Singapore but the sport is picking up in Asia – and that’s not just what Australians will tell you! The annual Asian Australian Football Championships pits teams from China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam.
The Singapore Australian Football Club , known locally as The Wombats, won the 2011 Asian Championships. They are a social club that welcomes anyone from beginners to professionals and plays a mixture of home and overseas games.
Fees: $220 per year, includes full training and playing kit
Meet: NUS Field on Evans Road
Play: Saturdays 3pm to 5pm
The full version of American football isn’t played in Singapore, well, it’s probably too hot to don the full gear anyway. So a crowd of patriotic Yanks started up flag football matches, where tackling is replaced by taking another player’s flag.
The Singapore Flag Football Association is an informal social club that welcomes all nationalities. They have enough interest to field four teams of seven players most sessions.
Meet: Tiong Bahru Park
Play: Saturdays 9am
Cycling on Singapore’s congested roads is definitely not for the faint-hearted. The key cycling event is the OCBC Cycle Singapore. It has various categories from a 5km kids’ competition through to a 9km community ride and a 39km endurance race.
ANZA Cycling is the cycling extension of Australia and New Zealand Association of Singapore (ANZA) but the club is open to all nationalities. You must first become a member of ANZA which costs $150 a year per family.
Meet: All over Singapore
Play: Usually 6am (weekdays) and 7am (weekends)
Joyriders are a welcoming bunch who accept cyclists of all calibres to join their morning rides! Their members frequently participate in the OCBC Cycle Singapore.
Fees: Only required to buy a jersey for identification, from $80
Meet: All over Singapore
Play: Usually 5am (weekdays, except Monday) 4.40am (weekends)
Dragon Boat Racing
SSI AIM $18 +1.2
18 paddlers, one sweeper and a drummer pile in a small row boat in this Asian-dominated sport that’s gaining popularity with local expats. The fiercest event on the calendar is the Singapore International Dragon Boat Festival in July, when both local and international teams will gather at Bedok Reservoir.
The British Dragon Boat Team train and race year-round save for a brief break at the end of the year for competitive and social racing in Singapore and around the region. You don’t have to be British to be on the team – all nationalities are welcome.
Fees: No membership fee, only $10 per session
Meet: Kallang Riverside Park
Play: Saturdays at 3.30pm, Sundays at 8.45am
The Singapore Paddle Club teaches advanced paddlers and regularly hosts rookie sessions for beginners to try out the sport.
Fees: $10 per person for an intro session
Meet: Tanjong Beach, Sentosa
Play: Most Saturdays