$3 million grant for sports enterprises to adopt digital solutions

People wearing face masks jogging outside Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. (PHOTO: Maverick Asio/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — Businesses in the Singapore sports industry will be able to use a $3 million Enterprise Innovation and Capability Grant to adopt digital solutions to prepare for safe reopening after the COVID-19 circuit breaker period.

Announcing this grant during a keynote address to fitness instructors and business owners at the ExPro Virtual Circuit Breaker conference on Thursday (28 May), Minister of Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu said the grant seeks to support more than 20 sports enterprises in various aspects of the digital economy.

“This grant will help build capabilities and capacities of sports enterprises to take advantage of growth opportunities in the digital economy,” she said.

“This will include the development and application of digital technologies, promote training and up-skilling of sport professionals, as well as build stronger digital capabilities.”

Sport Singapore (SportSG) chief executive officer Lim Teck Yin highlighted the importance of digitalisation for the industry, at a time when Singaporeans are recognising the value of sport and an active lifestyle for their health and well-being.

“Developing strong digital capabilities will enable the industry to enhance engagement of customers and harness the insights from data to better meet their needs and interests,” he said.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has given impetus to fast track these developments and Sport Singapore is keen to work with industry partners for both near-term and long-term demand and opportunities.”

For more information on the grant, interested parties may join SportSG’s “Ask Me More" sessions.

Measures available under Fortitude Budget

Besides the grant, there are other measures available for the sports industry to tide businesses through the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic situation, under the Fortitude Budget announced by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat on Tuesday.

Enterprises may continue to tap on the Jobs Support Scheme for 75 per cent wage support for the first $4,600 of each Singaporean employee’s salary until August, or until their business is allowed to open.

The government will also provide additional rental grants of up to two months, as well as property tax rebate to offset operating costs for businesses.

Meanwhile, industry players who are keen to expand their customer base and community outreach through online programmes and offerings may do so via ActiveSG Circle, SportSG’s integrated digital platform driven.

The ActiveSG Circle’s reach has crossed 10 million views since its launch in April, with more than 200 self-employed persons having joined the platform. They will be joined by more than 50 businesses in the next few weeks.

Online coaching, sports resources

SportSG has also been working with coaches and instructors through CoachSG to directly commission their services for developing online sports resources, e-workshops and webinars.

The home-based learning packages for various sports and activities have allowed coaches and instructors to engage their athletes and establish new income streams.

On the jobs front, more than 80 per cent of the 500 contract opportunities created by SportSG as part of the SGUnited jobs banner have been taken up. Some 3,000 training courses will be available by end-2020.

Minister Fu will be engaging industry players on a Facebook Live session on Saturday at 8pm. Those who are interested may tune in on SportSG’s Facebook page.

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