Worker’s Party (WP) Member of Parliament for Hougang Dennis Tan has called for the revival of Singapore’s void deck football culture.
He made the call while supporting his party’s motion in Parliament on 6 July, calling for the support of the accomplishments of Singapore’s athletes and para-athletes.
Beyond supporting Singapore’s athletes, the original motion tabled by the WP called on the government to “undertake a thorough evaluation of the areas of improvement in Singapore’s sporting ecosystem” and “commit to realising clear, achievable goals for sporting success over the coming decade”.
During the five-hour debate, Tan said that more can be done to help improve the street football culture in Singapore.
There is a clear lack of such a culture at present in Singapore, compared to two to three decades ago, which football enthusiasts have suggested as one of the reasons for the poor state of the game in Singapore at present.
“Many Singaporeans of different generations will remember playing football at void decks, or even on (the) grass patch in the kampong,” said Tan.
“How has our street football culture developed over the decades?”
He said that the void deck football culture had been “curtailed by the lack of space”, to the detriment of the “uniquely Singapore football culture”, which had elements such as pre-made goalposts, or team-mates in the form of pillars.
“However, as our municipal management culture made advances, the no-football signs would dampen the playing of football on void decks, and understandably so, in consideration of safety, cleanliness and noise,” he said.
Tan added that despite the existence of commercial futsal courts, it was impractical for primary school children to travel to these places, alone with their friends, fork out the money and organise their own matches.
The presence of a few open-air neighbourhood courts also was not conducive for children to play in the afternoons, after school or after getting their homework done as these courts were not sheltered from the sweltering afternoon sun, or the weather elements.
He called to “revive the void deck football culture in more modern manifestation by recreating the conditions which made void deck football so inviting – the close proximity to home, the shelter from the rain and the sun and the ease of access.”
He also suggested that government agency Sport Singapore funds the building of roof shelters for these existing open courts in neighbourhoods, and to look at turning the rooftops of multi-storey carparks into street football courts.
MAIN PHOTO: MSN NEWS/YOUTUBE
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