Singapore has no shortage of social and sporting clubs. Whether you’re looking for a super-sized swimming pool for the nippers to practice their butterfly (Hollandse Club), play tennis and drink great milkshakes (British Club), need a course for your weekly golf fix, or are looking for somewhere to take clients to enjoy a good whisky (get the boss to sign off on the Singapore Cricket Club), here’s our round-up of Singapore’s finest club memberships.
The British Club
Parents: Todd and Kim Forrester, New Zealanders
Children: Daniel (20) and Sarah (16)
“We’ve lived in Singapore for seven years; first, from 2002 to 2004, and then from our return here five years ago. When we moved back, we brought our pets (two cats, a dog and a parrot) so we wanted to live in a landed property. We set out on a search to find a club that would provide us with the facilities we miss out on from not living in a condo (pool, gym, sports facilities).
We heard of The British Club online and from friends, and we fell in love with the place during our visit. There’s a welcoming family vibe and a great sense of community. The facilities are also extensive and well-maintained. The staff are great and we’ve come to see the club as an extension of our living room and family! It’s wonderful to drive to the top of the hill and feel like you’ve retreated from the city altogether.
We’re at the club at least four times each week. Since we both work from home, we often take our laptops there for a change of scenery, a burst of creativity or a quiet moment. We use the gym regularly, dine in the restaurants, Kim sings in The British Club Band, and Todd is on the IT Committee. We’ve also made use of the event spaces for meetings and parties, and we always bring visiting family members here. We also enjoy lying by the pool with a cold drink and a good book.
We love the club and often recommend it to others. In recent years, there’s also been a push for environmentally-friendly practices, and we feel this is something to be noted and applauded.”
Parents: Freeke Quik and Joost Broekmaat, Dutch
Children: Hugo (12), Doortje (10) and Karel (5)
“We’ve been living in Singapore for almost two years, and we heard about the Hollandse Club through colleagues of Joost. The week we arrived in Singapore, I (Freeke) was invited by an old friend from Holland to join her at the club while her children were having swimming lessons. While there, I met a lovely group of other mums who have dinner together every Wednesday. Our family became members soon after. I signed up my youngest Karel for swimming lessons and we’ve been going there almost every Wednesday afternoon since.
We mostly go to the club for sports. It started with swimming lessons: Karel is still learning the basics, while Doortje is in the competitive training team. Hugo and Doortje play tennis and so does Joos every now and then. I play hockey with the Hollandse Club ladies’ team. I’m also planning on joining the choir that sings every Tuesday morning!
Since I joined the board of the Netherlands Charity Association (NCA) last summer, I’ve been at the club even more often. We don’t have an office, so we’re happy that the club lets us use its facilities to store our items and provide meeting rooms when we need them. The best example of the collaboration of the NCA and the Hollandse Club is the annual Christmas Charity Fair that we organise with the help of the club. Every year, we raise a lot of money for our causes by selling vendor space that the Hollandse Club offers to us for free. All the proceeds go to the NCA’s local charities.”
Singapore Cricket Club (SCC)
Parents: Sam Sharpe and Cara Quinn, British and Irish
Children: Saoirse (9) and Jack (6)
“I (Sam) have lived in Singapore for most of my life – over 22 years, in fact. I first moved here with my family when I was eight years old in 1985. I returned to the UK for university, moved back for a couple of stints and finally returned in 2009. I always knew about the SCC when I was a kid, as it was (and still is) one of the most prestigious clubs in Singapore.
When I played rugby at UWCSEA, some of the older boys played for the SCC. I was also conscious of the club’s long history. So, when we moved back to Singapore in 2009, I was determined that I’d join and play rugby for them.
I wanted a first-rate rugby club with a good atmosphere and decent bar. SCC has all of that and is also a fantastic place to take my wife, friends, relatives and clients to eat. The club is very welcoming and there are many activities, including the opportunity to try out new sports at competitions where the club’s different sports teams play against one another in games such as lawn bowls or netball. There are many social events for members, including those set around some of Singapore’s biggest events including the F1 race and National Day.
Now that we have kids, the SCC’s kids’ sports programmes are a real bonus. Both children are members of the SCC Rugby Academy: Saoirse plays touch rugby for the under 10s and Jack plays rugby for the under 7s. I go to the club almost every day, coach at the SCC Rugby Academy and play for the SCC Growlers (vets’ rugby team) on Saturday afternoons.”
Some other sporting, leisure and social clubs in Singapore:
- Singapore Polo Club
- The Tanglin Club
- ONE°15 Marina Club
- Laguna National Golf and Country Club
- China Club
- Raffles Country Club
- Singapore Island Country Club