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  1. #4693
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    Default Singapore launches Electric Vehicle test bed

    Jun 26, 2011

    By Branden Ho


    An electric vehicle plugged into a Bosch charging station. Bosch, as the EV Taskforce's first charging service provider, is committed to running Singapore's EV charging station infrastructure until December 2016. --PHOTO: BOSCH


    SINGAPORE may finally adopt electric vehicles in a big way, depending on what the Electric Vehicle (EV) Taskforce finds in their latest project - the electric vehicle test-bed.

    The inter-agency Electric Vehicle (EV) Taskforce, led by the Energy Market Authority (EMA) and Land Transport Authority (LTA), announced the launch of the project on Saturday. Its objective is to test and gauge different EV prototypes and charging technologies in the local urban environment.

    The launch will bring with it five charging stations, five Mitsubishi i-MiEVs, four smart electric drive Daimler vehicles and the first batch of participants comprising LTA, Ministry of Manpower, Mitsubishi Corporation and Senoko Energy. More facilities will be added as the programme progresses.

    The test bed will be in place from now till the end of 2013, to provide an adequate period for data collection.

    EV users' charging and driving patterns, among other data, will be logged to gain a better understanding of EV technologies, business models and user preferences.

    Mr Chew Hock Yong, chief executive of LTA, said that the test-bed 'marks a significant milestone for land transport in Singapore' and will eventually lead to a 'better living environment in Singapore'.

  2. #4694
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Minister Lui leads 77-member team to China

    Posted: 26 June 2011 1342 hrs


    Mr Lui Tuck Yew
    SINGAPORE: Minister for Transport and Second Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Lui Tuck Yew, is leading a 77-member delegation to China on a business mission.

    They are visiting the cities of Guangzhou and Foshan in Guangdong province from 27-30 June.

    The delegation consists of a business team of 59 representatives from Singapore-based firms, the Singapore Business Federation and Singapore Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Guangdong, as well as 18 officials from International Enterprise (IE) Singapore, Media Development Authority of Singapore, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Singapore Economic Development Board and Singapore Tourism Board.

    The companies span industries such as urban solutions, port and logistics, education and finance.

    The business mission is organised by IE Singapore in conjunction with the third Singapore-Guangdong Collaboration Council (SGCC) meeting, which will be held in Guangzhou on 29 June.

    The SGCC is a bilateral cooperation platform co-chaired by Minister Lui and Guangdong's Vice-Governor Zhao Yufang.

    The SGCC meeting will review Singapore-Guangdong cooperation initiatives in the past year, and discuss new areas of collaboration for 2011 and 2012. It will also include a briefing on key developments outlined in Guangdong's 12th Five-Year Plan.

    The SGCC meeting will conclude with the signing of several Memoranda of Understanding or agreements involving companies from sectors of urban and industrial solutions, and port and logistics.

    During the mission, Minister Lui will also meet Guangdong Party Secretary Wang Yang, Foshan Mayor Li Yiwei and Guangzhou Party Secretary Zhang Guangning.

    The mission programme includes visits to the Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City, the key project under the ambit of the SGCC, Nansha District and Panyu District's South Railway Station Commercial Circle in Guangzhou.

    The development of Nansha has been earmarked under China's national and Guangdong's 12th Five-Year Plans, while the South Railway Station Commercial Circle is an emerging regional transportation hub linking Guangzhou to other Chinese cities via high speed rail.

    In the Foshan leg of the mission, Minister Lui will grace the groundbreaking ceremony of Mapletree's VivoCity in Nanhai District. He will also attend a cultural event organised by CapitaLand.

    From January to April 2011, bilateral trade between Singapore and Guangdong amounted to US$5.9 billion, an increase of 8.5% over the same period in 2010. The total bilateral trade in 2010 grew by 8.9% to reach US$17.3 billion.

    - CNA/ir

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    Default World's first AKB48 cafe in Singapore

    By Sharon See | Posted: 25 June 2011 2251 hrs


    Three members of AKB48 at the opening of the AKB48 Official Cafe in Singapore.


    SINGAPORE: You might have attended their concerts, now dine with them. The biggest pop group in the world, AKB48 from Japan, has set up its very own themed cafe in Singapore - a world's first.

    Singapore is the first overseas base for the group.

    Local fans get first-dibs at the AKB48 Official Cafe, as this does not even exist in Japan. It joins the Theatre "Live" Series concerts and Singapore Official Store at *SCAPE.

    The cafe has been furnished to resemble the original Akihabara theatre in the heart of Tokyo.

    While it officially opens next month, three of the AKB48 girls dropped by on Saturday afternoon to the surprise and delight of diners.

    Diners can expect more of this to come, on top of the exclusive AKB48 video screenings and the Japanese fusion menu.

    -CNA/ac

  4. #4696
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    Default NTU, Fraunhofer to set up new research centre to develop 3D technology

    By Vimita Mohandas | Posted: 25 June 2011 2234 hrs


    The virtual augmented Chinese learning aid.


    SINGAPORE: Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Fraunhofer - one of Europe's largest research organisations - have jointly set up a new research centre to develop 3D technology.

    The S$14 million Fraunhofer Interactive Digital Media @NTU will focus on interactive and digital media research and look into commercialising applications. The research centre is funded by NTU, Fraunhofer and the Media Development Authority.

    Developing cutting-edge 3D technology to solve real-world problems - that is the aim of the newly opened Fraunhofer Interactive Digital Media @ NTU.

    Among prototypes it has developed so far, is a virtual augmented Chinese learning aid. The learning game will benefit non-Chinese learners. To find out the meaning of a particular Chinese character, all they have to do is point it towards a camera and its image will be flashed on a screen.

    The centre also hopes to develop breakthrough projects for the benefit of sectors such as tourism, culture and transport.

    With media technologies constantly changing, the research centre hopes to engage youths.

    Professor Freddy Boey, Provost-Designate of NTU, said: "Today, our young people are very media savvy, very visual. Everybody has an iPhone, iPad and this is where we're coming in. With good graphic improvements, it will engage young people, not only in Singapore but the whole of Asia."

    The centre will also work on research areas like computer graphics and computer vision. The facility will also offer joint PhD programmes in visual computing with two leading universities from Germany and Austria.

    As a start, a total of 20 scholarships will be given to promising PhD students - 10 from NTU and another 10 from the universities in Germany and Austria.

    Under this programme - graduate researchers can go to Austria or Germany for at least a year to do their thesis and research at the Fraunhofer institutes there and vice versa. It signed agreements for the two joint programmes with Graz University of Technology and Technische Universitat Darmsradt.

    -CNA/ac

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    Default Malay Language Council releases compilation of Malay folk songs for children

    By Riz Sunawan | Posted: 25 June 2011 2156 hrs


    CD compilation of 25 Malay folk songs for children.


    SINGAPORE: An album has been recorded of 25 Malay folk songs for children. It is by the Malay Language Council to commemorate the Malay Language Month in July. The Malay Language Month was held once every two years before this.

    The album was launched on Saturday by Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan.

    Organisers said it is to ensure the Malay language and heritage is passed on to the next generation.

    Some of the songs were by MediaCorp radio deejays from Warna 94.2FM and Ria 89.7FM.

    Dr Balakrishnan said the younger generation needs to be guided and provided with the right environment to use their mother tongue. This is because English is more widely used by Singaporeans and need encouragement to use their mother tongue language when they have the opportunities to do so.

    One of the new features added to the Malay Language Council Website - a segment called "Sebut Tepat", by MediaCorp's Malay news presenter.

    This is the second Malay language month and organisers said it will be an annual event due to the positive response and support from the community after last year's event.

    -CNA/ac

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    Default Pictures: 10th Cosfest sees 13,000 participants

    Jun 27, 2011

    By Grace Chua




    Annual Cosfest cosplay convention. -- ST PHOTO: TED CHEN


    A YEAR ago, accountancy student Huang Yan Qi started out sharpening her photography skills on cosplayers, who dress up and role-play characters from Japanese games, manga and anime series.

    Soon, she took up the hobby as well, playing characters from popular games.

    On Sunday, Ms Huang and her partner Mr Ng Jie Xian, both 21, dressed up as the protagonist and villain from online multi-player game Dragon Nest to win the World Cosplay Summit Singapore, part of the annual Cosfest cosplay convention.

    Their performance, featuring puppetry and a swordfight, beat two other Singapore pairs in the final and the pair are on their way to the World Cosplay Summit in Japan in August.

    Ms Huang and Mr Ng were among some 13,000 participants and spectators at the two-day event over the weekend at Downtown East in Pasir Ris.

    The 10th Cosfest to be held here also featured the World Cosplay Summit Malaysia, in which Malaysian teams vied for a chance to compete in Japan, a karaoke contest, and comics and manga booths by amateur and professional artists.
    Photo gallery

    Compiled By ZG Tan & Amanda Tan


  7. #4699
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    Default A silver lining for Singapore football

    Performances of Republic's juniors this week hold much promise for country's No 1 sport




    by Shamir Osman
    04:47 AM Jun 27, 2011

    23rd Canon Lion City Cup

    Singapore under-16 0 Flamengo 0 (Flamengo win 4-3 after penalties)


    SINGAPORE - Singapore fans were in high spirits throughout the match, even though their songs were drowned out in the stands by the incessant samba beat. Out on the Jalan Besar green, Singapore's under-16 side were pegged back for most of the game in last night's 23rd Canon Lion City Cup Final, as the boys from Brazil in the famous colours of Flamengo dictated play.

    But the Singapore juniors fought hard, and also had some gilt-edged opportunities, they held out for 90 minutes for the match to go into the roulette of penalty kicks.

    Even though Takuma Koga's boys lost the shootout 4-3, there was a silver lining at Jalan Besar Stadium, with renewed optimism surrounding the football future of the Republic.

    Dejan Gluscevic's under-15 side beat their counterparts from Juventus 4-0 in the earlier battle for third place, and along with their seniors, the performance of Singapore's youngsters in this tournament has given the country's national game a big lift.

    "These boys are good, I'm proud to support this Singapore team that has shown that there is talent in Singapore," said former Singapore international Noor Ali, who watched the action from the stands.

    "Whatever the result, they have done us proud, and if this team is kept together for the next few years, they will bring us the SEA Games gold medal," added the Hougang United forward confidently.

    The plaudits have been pouring in from all fronts for the youngsters, who range in age from 14 to 16.

    The number 10s, Adam Swandi (under-15) and Hanafi Akbar (under-16) were singled out by several foreign coaches as players to watch, with their dancing feet, tricky dribbling and incisive passing endearing them to the hearts of the Singapore public.

    But there were several in the total group of 43 players who have stood tall these past nine days: Under-16 skipper Dhukhilan Jeevamani was a rock at the back, similarly his younger counterpart R Aaravin, with Zulfadhmi Suzliman and Muhaimin Suhaimi promising much attacking verve for the Lions of the future.

    The Canon Lion City Cup was also a success, attracting teams of the calibre of Everton, Newcastle, Juventus and Flamengo.

    There were 5,000 fans in attendance last night, and under-15 skipper Adam, said: "Playing in this tournament has allowed us to go up against different teams that play different styles: The Brazilians who are good on the ball, the big and strong Italians, and the English with their high-tempo game. We have learnt to adapt to this and will show that in future games in (regional tournaments)."

    The under-15s will go to Laos from July 5 to 21 for an ASEAN Football Federation tournament. Their main target is a good performance in September's Asian Football Confederation age-group tournament qualifiers in North Korea.

    Singapore luminaries Fandi Ahmad and V Sundramoorthy made their name in this very tournament all those years ago, as did Singapore's youngest international (16 years and 217 days) Hariss Harun, and there is much hope that stars will emerge again, after this year's competition.

    "The Singapore federation should be quite happy with how both their teams have performed," said Newcastle United's Jimmy Nelson, who has nurtured the likes of England legends Alan Shearer and Paul Gascoigne.

    And his Flamengo counterpart agreed.

    "(Singapore) have many good players with enormous potential ... and you must be careful with (developing) these guys," said Flamengo's Celso Martins.

    The samba beat may have carried on at Jalan Besar long after the Brazilian youngsters danced their way onto the stage to receive their trophy, but Singapore may yet continue buzzing about these youngsters for some time to come.








    The disappointed Singapore U-16 team after they lost to Flamengo yesterday. Photo by KOH MUI FONG
    Last edited by Loh; 06-26-2011 at 10:12 PM.

  8. #4700
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    Default Government to commit S$400m on urban sustainability R&D

    By Vimita Mohandas | Posted: 27 June 2011 1013 hrs


    Artist impression of aerial view of Jurong Lake District - URA photo
    SINGAPORE: The government on Monday announced that S$400 million will be committed to spearhead research and development in urban sustainability.

    The announcement was made at the first ever urban sustainability research and development congress.

    Some 800 participants from government agencies, research institutes and the private sector are attending the conference.

    They will discuss research and development responses to national urban sustainability challenges and to collaborate on projects in 'living labs' such as Punggol Eco-town, CleanTech Park, Jurong Lake District and Marina Bay.

    - CNA/fa

  9. #4701
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    Default Temasek, Khazanah to co-develop $12b worth of projects

    Jun 28, 2011

    By Yasmine Yahya






    TEMASEK Holdings and its Malaysian counterpart Khazanah Nasional will jointly develop about $12 billion worth of projects in downtown Singapore and Johor, the two agencies said yesterday.

    The Singapore sites will be developed into integrated projects including office, residential, hotel and retail components, worth about $11 billion, the two partners said. The Malaysian sites will feature serviced apartments, a corporate training centre and commercial, retail, residential and health-related facilities.

    A joint venture called M+S, 60 per cent held by Khazanah and 40 per cent by Temasek, will develop six land parcels - four in Marina South and two in Ophir-Rochor - with about 501,000 sq m of floor space.

    The joint venture stems from a land swop deal that Singapore and Malaysia agreed on last year that included the development of the six parcels of land in Singapore. In return, Singapore gains six plots of Malayan Railway land - three in Bukit Timah, and one each in Tanjong Pagar, Kranji and Woodlands.

    The partners will also work together in a 50:50 venture on two sites in the fledgling economic zone Iskandar Malaysia in south Johor, with a total development value of three billion ringgit and 1.36 million sqm in floor space.

    A unit of Mapletree Investments has been appointed to oversee the marketing and development of the project at Marina South, while a unit of CapitaLand has been appointed to do the same at the Ophir-Rochor developments.

    Read the full story in Tuesday's edition of The Straits Times.

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    Default All aboard at Woodlands Train Checkpoint

    Jun 28, 2011

    Commuters can clear customs, immigration for both countries in same building

    By Tham Yuen-C









    Tan Sri Nor (right) and Mr Shanmugam posing with the signed documents in Putrajaya yesterday. -- PHOTO: ASSOCIATED PRESS


    IT WILL be all systems go at the Woodlands Train Checkpoint this Friday when the first train rolls out of the station at 5.30am.

    Train commuters leaving Singapore for Malaysia will now have the convenience of clearing immigration and customs for both countries at the same building.

    Passengers will depart and arrive at this Woodlands facility, following the closure of the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station on June 30.

    At the checkpoint, they will first clear Singapore immigration before taking a two-minute walk to get their passports stamped at the Malaysian Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) counters.

    This procedure will restore the exit and entry to the country to normal immigration practices elsewhere. Currently, people leaving Singapore would first clear Malaysian immigration at Tanjong Pagar, followed by Singapore immigration at Woodlands.

    Mr Bhopinder Singh, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority's (ICA) operations division director, said it has been working very closely for the past one year with its Malaysian counterparts and various Singapore agencies to prepare for the changeover on Friday.

    Read the full story in Tuesday's edition of The Straits Times.

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    Default S'pore, KL ink details of land swop deal

    Jun 28, 2011

    Written Instrument spells out implementation details of landmark agreement

    By Teo Cheng Wee, Regional Correspondent

    The New Train Station:
    http://www.straitstimes.com/STI/STIM...URBS28-KGT.pdf

    Key points of the agreement


    Singapore will facilitate the relocation of the Malayan Railway station from Tanjong Pagar to Woodlands, and ensure bus and taxi service connectivity to a nearby MRT station.

    Malaysia's current Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) operations at Tanjong Pagar Railway Station will also be relocated to Woodlands. It will operate on the same basis and with the same status as the CIQ operations in Tanjong Pagar.

    The establishment of M+S Pte Ltd, a company owned by Malaysia's Khazanah Nasional and Singapore's Temasek Holdings. Khazanah will have a 60 per cent stake, and Temasek, 40 per cent. M+S will develop four land parcels in Marina South and two in Ophir-Rochor. The developments, with office, residential, hotel and retail components, are projected to have a floor area of more than 500,000 sq m and are worth about $11 billion.

    The establishment of Pulau Indah, a 50-50 joint venture company between Khazanah and Temasek. It will work on an 'iconic project' on two sites in Iskandar Malaysia in Johor, estimated to be worth around RM3 billion (S$1.2 billion). Khazanah and Temasek will also look at other potential joint developments in Iskandar Malaysia.

    The building of a rapid transit system link between Johor Baru and Singapore, to be operational by 2018. The stations will be situated in JB Sentral in Johor Baru and near Republic Polytechnic in Woodlands.





    WOODLANDS, HERE WE COME: With the closure of the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station, train passengers travelling to and from Malaysia will have to board or disembark at Woodlands from Friday. -- ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG


    PUTRAJAYA: A 20-year wrangle over Malayan railway land that had dogged ties between Singapore and Malaysia came to a close yesterday, after both sides put pen to paper and agreed on the implementation details of a landmark land swop.

    Hailed as a deal that would take the relationship between the neighbours to a new level, the so-called Written Instrument was signed by Singapore Foreign Minister K. Shanmugam and Malaysia's Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Nor Mohamed Yakcop.

    Indeed, among the major components of the deal is a rapid transit system (RTS) link that will allow for speedy commutes between Johor Baru and Singapore.

    To be operational by 2018, the link will feature co-located Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) facilities in both Singapore and Johor Baru so commuters need to clear immigration only once each way. The terminating stations of the link will be near JB Sentral in Johor Baru, and near Republic Polytechnic in Singapore.

    A technical workgroup on the link has been formed, and a tender for a consultancy study on it will be called by the fourth quarter of this year.

    The Written Instrument, finalised after months of negotiations between officials from both countries, spells out the implementation details of a deal first struck by Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak last year.

    Read the full story in Tuesday's edition of The Straits Times.
    Last edited by Loh; 06-27-2011 at 09:02 PM.

  12. #4704
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    Default Singapore, Malaysia agree to commuter rail link

    Jun 28, 2011





    Singapore and Malaysia have agreed to open a rapid transit rail service by 2018 to connect the city-state with the southern Malaysian city of Johor Bahru. -- PHOTO: LTA


    SINGAPORE - SINGAPORE and Malaysia have agreed to open a rapid transit rail service by 2018 to connect the city-state with the southern Malaysian city of Johor Bahru.

    Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said on Monday in a joint statement that representatives of the two countries signed the agreement in Putrajaya, Malaysia.

    The Southeast Asian neighbors agreed last year to develop the link, but hadn't set a timetable for its opening. Two bridges currently connect northern Singapore with southern Johor state.

    The rapid transit deal is part of a broader land swap that gives Singapore control beginning July 1 of a railroad and stations owned by Malaysia since the two countries separated in 1965. In return, Malaysia will receive six land parcels in Singapore. -- AP

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    Default $400m for research to make life in city better

    Jun 28, 2011

    By Cheryl Ong




    HDB's Tree Lodge @ Punggol is one of two Distinguished Award winners in the inaugural Minister for National Development's R&D Awards, which are given to statutory boards which show creativity in practising ideals of urban sustainability in their projects. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE


    SCIENTISTS or commercial companies with good ideas on efficient energy use, making buildings more eco-friendly, or safeguarding Singapore's food supply can now tap into a fund for research into these areas.

    A $400 million kitty has been set aside for this.

    Announcing this yesterday, Minister of State for National Development, Brigadier-General (NS) Tan Chuan-Jin, said: 'Which other city-states would feel the pressures of urbanisation more keenly than us? I think Singapore has to blaze this trail to find our own innovative solutions.'

    He was speaking at the inaugural Urban Sustainability R&D Congress at the Biopolis.
    Three-quarters of the fund - $300 million - will be for research into energy-related issues.

    This 'Energy Resilience for Sustainable Growth' fund, to come from the $1 billion earmarked by the National Research Foundation (NRF) last year, will pay for studies into affordable alternatives to fossil fuels or those that find ways to use fuels more efficiently.

    Read the full story in Tuesday's edition of The Straits Times.

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    Default Sports School unveils elite programme

    By Qiuyi Tan | Posted: 27 June 2011 1933 hrs



    SINGAPORE: The Singapore Sports School has announced a new elite programme that aims to break its student-athletes into the top-100 world rankings, in as soon as four years' time.

    Eighteen selected student-athletes will pilot the "School Within a School" programme, for badminton, table tennis and golf.

    Its training structure will resemble that used by countries advanced in the three sports.

    The programme will feature daytime training sessions and night-time academic classes.

    The daytime training schedule will allow students to train with their respective national teams.

    It is the first Sports School initiative funded by the S$35-million EW Barker Endowment from the Temasek Education Foundation.

    Singapore Sports School principal Deborah Tan said the school is a pipeline for the Singapore national team, especially for badminton and table tennis, but it has yet to produce players who can achieve significant breakthroughs on the international stage.

    "This 'School Within a School' programme seeks to narrow that gap between local and international standards, and making sure that their outcomes both in academic studies as well as sports, will be achieved," Mrs Tan said.

    "In terms of numbers, as long as there're talented student-athletes ready to come into this programme, we'll take them in."

    Sixteen-year-old badminton player Fiona Seah said: "I prefer this training schedule; it will definitely help me improve faster".

    She added she hoped the programme can help her get into the national badminton team.

    -CNA/wk

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    Default Man Utd star Nani surprises Northlight students

    By Tan Yo-Hinn | Posted: 27 June 2011 1238 hrs


    Northlight School
    SINGAPORE: Students at Northlight School got a surprise on the first day of the new term when Manchester United star Nani visited them for a talk on Monday morning.

    The visit was to promote the Peter Lim Scholarship, which is part of the Singapore Olympic Foundation that is run by the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC).

    Students took turns to ask the 24-year-old questions about his childhood, the problems he faced and his football career.

    "Think positive, you can be like me and be a star for a lot of people. Never forget what you want," said Nani, whose full name is Luis Carlos Almeida da Cunha, during a 15-minute Q&A session with the students.

    "If you want to be a professional footballer, never give up, practice everyday, even when something goes wrong, don't give up. And do football with a smile."

    The Portuguese star also signed autographs and juggled a football on the school's stage.

    At a media conference later, Nani remained coy about his future at United, which has been the subject of speculation following the arrival of England winger Ashley Young from Aston Villa last week, although he sees himself staying at Old Trafford for a long time.

    Nani, who is here on a private holiday, returns home on Tuesday.

    "Nani is a good inspiration to young people, and relates well to the kids," said SNOC vice-president Ng Ser Miang, who was also present at the event.

    "He gave them simple but powerful messages like never give up and pursue your passion. He's a living example himself."

    About 400 scholarships, ranging from S$2,000 to S$20,000 annually, are available for students from primary up to tertiary level. The application for the scholarships closes on July 1, 2011.

    - CNA/fa

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    Default Sports School breaks the mould

    by Philip Goh Haw Hann
    04:47 AM Jun 28, 2011

    SINGAPORE - In an unprecedented move by an academic institution here, the Singapore Sports School has selected 18 student-athletes for its new initiative to produce world-beaters. The "School Within A School" programme will allow the student-athletes to optimise their training schedule while not neglecting their studies.

    Aged between 13 and 16 years, the 18 youngsters from three academies - badminton, table tennis and golf - will work on a time-table different from the rest of their schoolmates, training in the morning and afternoon, and attending classes from 6.50pm to 9.40pm daily.

    Significantly, they will no longer study in their current day classes of up to 25 students, instead attending classes of between three and five students.

    Said Mrs Deborah Tan, principal of Singapore Sports School: "We've looked at the best practices from around the region, looking to emulate the volume of training and the best times physiologically for these athletes to train, as practised by the leading nations.

    "We're using this programme to narrow the gap between our students and the elite players."

    The badminton hopefuls and paddlers will have four years to break into the top 100 in their respective world rankings.

    In that time, the golfers will have to be good enough for a national call-up in regional competitions and major Games.

    The switch to the new routine will allow the golfers to play a full 18 holes in the morning and avoid the crush in the afternoons when recreational golfers typically fill the fairways here.

    For table tennis and badminton, the programme will allow the student-athletes to train with the respective national teams during the day.

    Singapore Badminton Association president Lee Yi Shyan, who is also the Minister of State for Trade & Industry and National Development, applauded the new scheme.

    He said: "This is a significant milestone in the maturing training system for sportsmen and sportswomen in Singapore. This holistic programme will give the athletes the customised training that best suits them, and gives us a much better chance of producing world-class athletes, besides the academic learning that makes an individual."

    New teaching staff will be engaged, complemented by existing Sports School teachers, to conduct lessons for the athletes in the evening.

    Funding for the scheme will come from the S$35 million EW Barker Endowment launched last August under the Temasek Education Foundation.

    Shuttler Fiona Seah, 16, is excited to be part of the pilot group. "The training is similar to what the national team goes through and the intensity is greater," she said. "It will definitely help me improve faster and get into the national team quicker."

    Plans are in place to expand the scheme.

    "Right now, as long as there are talented athletes within the three sports ready to come under this programme, we'll bring them in," said Mrs Tan.

    "As for other sports, we're looking at different innovations to raise their standards, and these will be announced in due time."






    (Back row, centre, from left) Singapore Badminton Association president Lee Yi Shyan, Sports School principal Deborah Tan, Singapore Table Tennis Association president Lee Bee Wah, Singapore Golf Association vice-president Oscar Oliveiro and Sports School officials with 12 of the 18 students.
    PHOTO COURTESY SINGAPORE SPORTS SCHOOL
    Last edited by Loh; 06-27-2011 at 09:27 PM.

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    Default Chan supports 2015 SEA Games bid

    SNOC secretary-general believes the Republic should make its case at federation meeting in November



    by Low Lin Fhoong
    04:47 AM Jun 29, 2011

    SINGAPORE - Chris Chan, secretary-general of the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC), believes the Republic will pull off a successful SEA Games in 2015 and he hopes to be able to make the case later this year.

    Speaking to MediaCorp after the SNOC's annual general meeting (AGM) at Raffles Town Club last night, Chan said: "The (SEA Games) Federation Council meeting is in November, so it's the correct time to inform them on whether we are hosting 2015, otherwise they can offer it to another country.

    "The Sports Hub is scheduled for completion in March 2014. The hardware is there and we should start preparing our software now.

    "We should be ready to host the SEA Games, as the basic venues are there. We should make an effort to go in so that we don't put other countries off the rhythm."

    The 26th edition of the biennial Games is scheduled to be jointly held in Jakarta and Palembang from Nov 11 to 22 this year.

    The 2013 edition will be hosted by Myanmar in their new capital Naypyidaw.

    While Cambodia is scheduled to host the 2015 Games, their officials have said they will probably not be ready.

    Singapore has held the Games on three occasions - 1973 when it was known as the SEAP Games, 1983 and the last time in 1993.

    Last night's SNOC AGM was attended by representatives from 41 national sports associations, council members and the executive committee, headed by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean.

    Speaking after the meeting, Teo said: "We reviewed the very exciting and fruitful sports year that we had last year. We had a lot of successes - we had the YOG (Youth Olympic Games), we did well in the Commonwealth Games and had a commendable performance at the Asian Games.

    "But what's more important is that the activities last year, particularly the YOG, has enthused supporters as well as young athletes. And you can see that already in attendances at major events we've been having these last few weeks, and also in the fighting spirit and enthusiasm in our athletes as well."

    "So that's a very positive legacy from the YOG."

    Looking ahead to 2012, Teo felt the Olympic Pathway Programme would give the country's elite athletes an extra push in their preparations for the London Games.

    Currently with a kitty of S$6.3 million, the project supports eight athletes in badminton, shooting, table tennis and swimming.

    Added Teo: "Eventually the proof is in the eating and so we'll have to see whether or not the athletes will be able to achieve the high levels that we hope that they will.

    "We hope that with the extra preparations that we give to the best of our athletes and those with the highest chances of winning medals that they will be able to deliver and perform."

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