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Staying active in Singapore: Where to find the activities that you want to do

Posted on Dec 21, 2012 by Sergio Ulloa ()

When you're part of the rat race and working from 9 to 5 (if you're lucky), it can be very difficult to achieve the level of activity that you would like. When you do have that occasional holiday or free weekend with which to get active, what kind of sport do you like to engage in, and will Singapore be able to support your game of choice? Find your preferred style of activity below and see what the city has to offer.

Running is easily the most accessible activity that can be done in Singapore. You can do it anywhere, you can do it alone and there need not be any competition involved. Novice runners can do a lap around the 3km of track at Fort Canning Park, which has toilet facilities to change in and water fountains scattered throughout the park. Once you're ready for a better workout, you can run the 9.7km MacRitchie Reservoir Loop. The trail here is great for nature lovers, as it goes by the water and through the forest. Just watch out for the wildlife! Advanced runners can challenge themselves by running the steep grades of the 9km Southern Ridges Trail. If you can push yourself to get to the highest points of the trail, you will be treated with some spectacular views, and don't forget to check out the Henderson Waves. There are also many great beaches to run on in Singapore, including the beaches of Sentosa Island, Changi Beach Park and East Coast Park Beach where you can get a workout and enjoy the motion of the ocean at the same time.

Going for a daily run is a great way to stay in shape, but what if you want to show your stuff and run competitively? Singapore has no shortage of long distance running events to test your mettle. In 2012 alone there were over 70 marathons and other long distance running events. With a little research you can find a long distance race to compete in every month, if not every week. There are also organizations, like the Singapore Athletic Association, that regularly train athletes for and host track & field events.

If you prefer to do your running away from and into people on a rugby pitch, then be sure to check out the Singapore Rugby Union. The organization runs Singapore's national rugby teams, as well as coordinates domestic leagues for youths and adults. Experienced rugby players can play with other adults at Wanderers R.F.C. Kids can receive rugby training at one of Singapore's many clubs such as Tanglin Rugby Club, Centaurs Rugby or the Singapore Cricket Club Rugby Academy.

There's no better way of showing off your vertical skills in Singapore than by taking to the basketball court. There are a number of basketball associations that provide a structured setting for indoor and outdoor basketball in Singapore, such as BBAXN or the Basketball Association of Singapore, and the city even has professional basketball teams. When you're wanting to play a pick-up game of street ball there are courts all over the city with local people shooting around and waiting to get a game together. Do a bit of exploring in your neighborhood and it should be no problem to find a group that needs an extra player.

Netball can also be found in Singapore through Netball Singapore, which has been supporting the netball community in the city since 1962.

Another way to get your jump on in Singapore is through gymnastics. Anyone wanting to get involved with gymnastics can find all the information they need by contacting Singapore Gymnastics, the National Sports Association for gymnastics in Singapore.

You can also jump to spike a volleyball at various venues throughout Singapore. Indoor volleyball can be found through the Volleyball Association of Singapore. For beach volleyball, casual groups get together at Tanjong Beach and Siloso Beach regularly. Take your mates along to enjoy the sun and sand together.

There are many options for those wanting to take a dip on a sunny day. If you would like to have a swim in a pool that is relatively peaceful, try the Katong Swimming Complex or the Queenstown Swimming Complex. If you want the kids to have a good time on some water slides while you relax on the lazy river, the Jurong East Swimming Complex will be a better fit for you. If you prefer the sea to man-made bodies of water, Sentosa Island and East Coast Park have beaches and open water that can be enjoyed, although the heavily trafficked waterways do not make for the world's cleanest waters. If you have a chance to travel to islands further South you will increase your chances of finding pristine spots to swim, and can even enjoy snorkeling and scuba at some of Singapore's beautiful coral reefs.

Of course, with swimming comes sunbathing. In Singapore you can catch some rays just about anywhere, but the beach and the pool are the best spots since you won't look out of place in your bathing suit. Don't get burnt, though. Singapore is only about 140km (85mi) North of the equator and the danger from excessive exposure to UV rays is high.

The primary way to get your kicks in Singapore is to hit the pitch and have a game of football. For amateur footballers, there are online forums where you can arrange a match between your team and other amateurs from all over Singapore. Even if you don't play football yourself, you can always watch national football league games with fellow football enthusiasts at any of Singapore's stadiums. The biggest of these is the 55,000 seat Singapore National Stadium. To catch your favorite foreign team, you can watch games at one of Singapore's favorite sports bars.

For those who would rather kick a person than a ball, muay thai boxing lessons can be found at a number of gyms in Singapore, including BXG Boxing and Fitness, the Muaythai Workshop or Hilltop Muay Thai. People who would rather kick nothing at all can get kickboxing lessons for beginners at fitness centers like Beyond Xtreme or Croyez Studio.

If you like to let your fists do your talking for you, you can get a workout by boxing at one of Singapore's training facilities like Vanda Boxing Club or Kadir's Boxing School. You can also find mixed martial arts training in addition to boxing at Evolve Mixed Martial Arts and Juggernaut Fight Club, amongst other places.

When you feel like throwing something, leave your household items in their place and reach for a baseball. Singapore is home to over 10 baseball clubs and over 40 softball clubs. A good jumping-off point for anyone interested in finding out where they can join up with a baseball or softball team is the Singapore Baseball & Softball Association.

You can also throw a touchdown pass by joining up with an American football organization in Singapore. The Singapore American Football League offers fully-padded and flag football action for young boys. Adults are left out in the cold if they want to play in pads, but there is a Singapore Flag Football Association that coordinates events through their Facebook group.

Believe it or not, Singapore also has its own ultimate Frisbee association. If you would rather throw a disc than a ball, be sure to check Singapore Ultimate to see what events you can join.

Those who prefer to throw underhand can go bowling in one of Singapore's many bowling alleys. The level of competition for expert bowlers is quite high in Singapore. In fact, the 2012 women's World Cup champion was Singapore's own Shayna Ng.

Ever since the 1960 Olympic Games when Tan Howe Liang won a silver medal for Singapore in weightlifting, weightlifting and body building has been a part of Singapore. There is a Singapore Weightlifting Federation and competitions to attend each year for serious body builders, but for those that just want to increase their power or tone themselves, there are a number of gyms and fitness centers in the city to go to. These include California Fitness, Fitness First, Amore Fitness and more.

To get into the swing of things in Singapore tennis is a great all-around workout that can be played casually with friends or in a competitive setting. Singapore has world-class tennis facilities, like those found at Kallang Tennis Centre, and more modest, but updated, facilities like Choa Chu Kang Sports Hall and Yio Chu Kang Tennis Centre. Even if you're alone, you can avail yourself of the practice walls at Farrer Park Tennis Centre or CCAB Sports Hall.

If squash is your preferred game, check out Burghley Squash & Tennis Centre or St. Wilfrid Squash & Tennis Centre.

Singapore's badminton lovers were given a gift when the Singapore Badminton Halls opened in late 2011. The facility has 14 courts and all the modern amenities that a player could want. Outside of the Singapore Badminton Hall, national sports centers and gyms are your best bet to bat around the shuttle.

Cricket enthusiasts should, of course, check out the the Singapore Cricket Association for information about playing cricket in the city, as it is the governing body of cricket in Singapore. The Association has even gone as far as to set up the SCA Cricket Academy in order to nurture budding talent. Other Singapore cricket organizations include the Singapore Cricket Club, the Ceylon Sports Club, the Singapore Recreation Club and more.

Last, but not least, on the list of things to swing is a golf club. There are over 30 golf courses to choose from in Singapore. The Tanah Merah Garden Course is highly regarded for its beautiful scenery, but is only open to club members and their guests. However, Tanah Merah's other Tempines Course is open to the public and provides an equally enjoyable outing. Other highly rated courses include Sentosa Island's Serapong Course, Laguna National's Masters Course and Singapore Island's Bukit Course.

The Rest
Singapore is certainly not lacking of sports, games and other activities to participate in. You can also take part in dragon boating, cycling, field hockey, ice hockey, roller hockey, ice skating, roller skating, marksmanship, archery, paintball, laser tag, chess, mahjong, billiards, darts, water polo, water skiing, wakeboarding, wind surfing, kayaking, canoeing, surfing, jet skiing, sailing, fishing, dancing and more.

Anyone wanting to get involved with athletics in Singapore will find that there is almost no end to the options, and that athletic facilities in the city are comparable with any city in the world. When getting out and being active, always remember to have the proper equipment and make sure that the proper precautions are taken to protect yourself from injury. Ensure that you have plenty of water to keep yourself sufficiently hydrated. When exercising on your own, make sure that you are in well-lit and populated areas where other people can offer assistance if needed. It is also important to keep in mind that wherever people are playing sports, injuries are bound to rear their ugly head. For this reason it is also important to have adequate insurance to make sure that you not only have any fees for medical services covered, but also continuing income if an injury should happen to cause you to miss work for a significant period of time. Make sure to protect yourself properly and you will find that Singapore is a place where you can easily have fun and stay in shape at the same time.
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