As Singapore opens its borders to international travellers, sports fans here and in the region can look forward to attending two international floorball tournaments hosted at the OCBC Arena at the Singapore Sports Hub. The two events – Women’s Asia Oceania Floorball Confederation Cup (Women’s AOFC Cup) and the Men’s World Floorball Championship Qualifiers AOFC (Men’s WFCQ – AOFC) – will also kickstart the inaugural Singapore Floorball Series, launched as a platform that aims to regularly bring top floorball action to the community.
Sport is back and here to stay. With players – including Singapore’s athletes – given the opportunity to acquire valuable high-quality competition experience through pitting their skills against a variety of different playing styles, floorball fans and followers here will also stand to benefit from the entertaining displays of speed and athleticism on court. A key part of the floorball community in Singapore comprises schoolgoing youth – over 300 floorball teams from more than 100 schools participate in the annual National School Games, and there are 14,000 participants from the primary to university levels.
The second edition of the Women’s AOFC Cup on 23 – 28 May will feature six teams: defending champions Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and a Singapore Under-19 side. The AOFC is held every year with the women’s edition taking place on even years while the men’s competition is held on odd years, ensuring that all players have at least one international tournament to look forward to each year. The first-ever Women’s AOFC Cup was also hosted by Singapore in 2018, and the national women’s team clinched the title with a 4-1 win over runner-up Thailand.
The men take to the floor from 31 May – 4 June and eight teams from the Asia Oceania region will congregate in Singapore for their opportunity to secure their place in the upcoming Men’s World Floorball Championship 2022 in Switzerland. The teams are: Singapore, Thailand, South Korea, New Zealand, the Philippines, Japan, Malaysia and Australia.
The Singapore Floorball Series is organised by sports agency Kin Productions Pte Ltd and hosted by the Singapore Floorball Association, with the support of Sport Singapore. Kin Productions, whose impressive repertoire of sports events includes the HSBC Singapore Rugby Sevens and World Table Tennis Singapore Smash, will also be the organiser of the Women’s World Floorball Championship when the tournament is hosted here next year. More details of the latter will be shared at a later date.
“The Women’s Asia Oceania Floorball Confederation Cup and the Men’s World Floorball Championship Qualifiers AOFC are events that feature some of the best floorball athletes from the region. Staging these tournaments is a boost to Singapore floorball. In addition to providing valuable competition experience for our current players, we hope these events generate more interest among those who may not be familiar with floorball, as well as inspire our future floorball players through watching top athletes in action,” said Singapore Floorball Association president Kenneth Ho.
Singapore women’s captain Michelle Lok, who was part of the 2018 team, said: “Playing on home ground is always special and we’re all looking forward to competing in Singapore again. We hope both floorballers and those who are keen about the sport are excited to catch both the women’s and men’s teams up close in action. Winning the Women’s AOFC Cup in front of a home crowd in 2018 was definitely a memorable and honourable experience. The team is training hard to put up a good fight to retain the title and do Singapore proud.”
Singapore men’s captain R. Suria said: “We’re excited to play in front of our family, friends and supporters. We’ve learnt a lot from our recent outings at major tournaments such as last year’s World Championships and have been working hard to improve all areas of our game in preparation of the Men’s WFCQ – AOFC. Floorball is a sport we love and enjoy playing, so we hope the fans who come also enjoy the matches and get to learn a little more about the sport.”
“Our national floorball teams have featured prominently on the international stage in recent years, and the Singapore Floorball Series will provide an opportunity for them to play amongst the best on home ground. Not only will this series see the men’s team vying for a spot in the upcoming men’s world championships, but it will also give the international floorball community a glimpse into the world-class stage that the 2023 IFF Women’s Floorball Championships will be played on. By giving Singaporeans a front row view of world class floorball action and a chance to cheer the national teams on as One Team Singapore, we hope the event will inspire the growing base of local floorball enthusiasts and encourage more people to take up the sport,” said Dr. Su Chun Wei, Chief of Singapore Sport Institute, Sport Singapore.
“It is our honour to organise the Singapore Floorball Series and our commitment to the floorball community. It gives floorball enthusiasts here and in the region more opportunities to play amongst their peers and to better their game. Kin Productions is heavily involved in the sports industry and the energy witnessed at such events is uplifting and inspiring. We can’t think of a better way to celebrate as we adjust to living with Covid-19,” said Vincent Chai, director of Kin Productions Pte Ltd.
“The OCBC Arena at Singapore Sports Hub has welcomed many international games and seen top athletes competing for world rankings inside this state-of-the-art facility, and we are excited the Arena has been chosen as the venue for these two international floorball tournaments,” says Damian Bush, Managing Director, Singapore Sports Hub.