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Olympic Sports and Where to Train for Them in Singapore

We might not be the greatest in the world at these sports, but we do have pretty awesome facilities and trainers, and a whole lot of enthusiasm.

By Mandy Lynn, Tom Ringheim | Jul 19, 2012

  • Olympic Sports and Where to Train for Them in Singapore
    SSC Archery
  • Olympic Sports and Where to Train for Them in Singapore
    Singapore Bike Club
  • Olympic Sports and Where to Train for Them in Singapore
    Bukit Timah Saddle Club
  • Olympic Sports and Where to Train for Them in Singapore
    Wrestling Federation of Singapore

Archery
For those who’ve always wanted skills like Legolas or Robin Hood, here’s your chance. The Archery Club of Singapore offers lessons from fun shooting and basic archery to advanced sessions (no apples on the head, mind). Both private and group sessions are available. A basic course starts at $80 for three group sessions (1.5 hours per lesson), where you’ll learn fundamental skills like the proper way to hold a bow, as well as aiming and shooting on target. Price includes equipment and range rental, and a one-time membership of $80 is applicable.
The Archery Club of Singapore, Punggol South Archery Centre

Athletics
Let’s face it: Singapore’s never going to win marathon gold. Not unless we figure out how to grow ourselves some serious hills. Yet at times it seems like every other person walking past you is moving at pace. The beauty of running is that you can just head out your door and go, but if you’re looking to improve your performance, turn professional or make some like-minded friends there’s a vibrant scene here for you to tap into. A good start would be to team up with Ben Swee—a local running coach certified by the Road Runners Club of America. Serious athletes may opt for an ongoing program where you will train on improving your running while leisure runners can choose a single session to learn some tips. Prices start at $5 per group session and $70 per individual session—each session lasts an hour.
Running Guild

Badminton
One of the easiest games to pick up here but also one of the toughest activities to arrange as booking a court at any community center is an Olympic challenge by itself. So why not save yourself the agony and train with Singapore’s very own former Olympian Ronald Susilo at his badminton academy instead (see our interview with the man himself in Last Word, page 37). The basic training program ($200 per month) focuses on developing foundation skills—suitable for those looking to take badminton up as a hobby. Intermediate ($250 per month), advanced and elite ($350 per month) programs are more intense as professional coaches will help you take your game to the next level. Who knows—if our bid to host the prestigious Thomas Cup in 2014 is successful, maybe the selectors will come knocking at your door.
Ronald Susilo Badminton Academy

BMX
If like us, you were impressed by the debut appearance of the fast and furious BMX competition at the Beijing 2008 Games, here’s your chance to have a go at this intense sport. Classes range from BMX 101 (fundamentals) to personal coaching for competitive racers. Each basic lesson costs $50 for a group session (of four to eight students) during which a certified instructor will teach the basic skills and foundation of riding a BMX bike. When you receive your certificate ($30), you get to ride for free at Tampines Bike Park. Safety gear is available for rent from $5.
Singapore Bike School

Equestrian
Forget all the F1 hoo-ha and try some real horsepower at the Bukit Timah Saddle Club, which has the widest range of equestrian facilities in Singapore. With five dressage arenas and a separate jumping arena totaling 13,000 sq. m. that accommodates courses built to international standards, you can learn to ride like a pro. Or you can just use the excellent tracks and trails for casual riding. A group session (of four to six people) lasts 45 minutes and prices start at $360 per person for a block of four lessons.
Bukit Timah Saddle Club

Sailing
Just last week, Singapore again showed its sailing pedigree, cleaning up at the World Optimist Championships in the Dominican Republic. Small wonder when we have such great conditions on our doorstep. Why not explore the high seas and feel the salty (50 km/h) breeze against your face? At Water-Venture, a basic Pico dinghy course costs $280 while the Olympic class laser dinghy course costs $330. Both courses last three days and sailboat rental costs $60 and $70 per day respectively.
Water-Venture (East Coast Park)

Swimming
Everyone knows swimmers have the best bodies. So what better excuse do you need to hit the pool? From learning the basics to perfecting a swimming stroke, LearnToSwim offers both private and group swimming lessons. Group sessions start from $180 for three months (weekly classes) and are held at various public swimming complexes. Alternatively, you can opt for private sessions at your own pool for $220 per month.
LearnToSwim

Table Tennis
Try your hand at the sport that kept the entire nation riveted to the Beijing Games in 2008 as we watched Li Jiawei thrash her opponents and win our first Olympic medal since independence in 1965. Pick up this fast racket game with a Learn-to-play program ($267.50 for 10 lessons) at The Singapore Table Tennis Association. The sessions will teach you the rules and fundamentals of playing table tennis, as well as simple techniques on attacking, blocking or defending a serve.
The Singapore Table Tennis Association

Tennis
Spanish tennis champion Rafael Nadal may not be defending his Olympic title at the London Games, but that doesn’t mean you can carry on with that sloppy backhand of yours. Sign up for some tennis lessons with Savitar whose internationally certified instructors will customize training to fit your goals and personal style. There are novice courses and skills enhancement workshops (from $190 for six group sessions). Private lessons are also available from $75 an hour. Practice takes place at the Fairmont Hotel Willow Stream Spa, Savitar and Grand Hyatt tennis facilities.

Wrestling
Pro wrestling might have nothing to do with the amateur theatrics of Hulk Hogan and John Cena, but it is a great workout. It has surged in popularity here, with many mixed martial art gyms featuring wrestling classes. Put your strength to the test with the Wrestling Federation of Singapore. They offer an all skill level practice from Mondays to Thursdays while beginner classes take place on Fridays—both run from 7:30-9pm. Membership starts at $120 per month, or opt for a single session ($25).
Wrestling Federation of Singapore

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