The Singapore National Stadium

Singaporeans participate in a wide variety of sports for recreation as well as for competition. Popular sports include football, swimming, track and field, basketball, rugby union, badminton, table tennis, and cycling. Many public residential areas provide amenities like swimming pools, outdoor spaces (i.e. street football and basketball courts, running tracks)[1] and indoor sport centres, with facilities for badminton, table tennis, squash among others.

As an island city-state, Singapore is surrounded by waters thus, many Singaporeans also enjoy water sports like swimming, water polo, sailing, kayaking, rowing and waterskiing. There is also a number of avid recreational scuba divers, a prominent diving spot being the southern island of Pulau Hantu, famous for its coral reefs.

Although Singapore does not have a de jure national sport, football is arguably the most popular spectator sport in Singapore. Singapore has its own professional football league, known as the Singapore Premier League (formerly known as S. League). Launched in 1996, it consists of nine teams competing against one another, with one based in Brunei, as of 2023. Since 2019, all eight teams in Singapore shared their home stadiums with one other team, which are mostly located in heartland towns. In 1998, 2004, 2007 and 2012, the Singapore national football team were champions in the AFF Championship, the premier football competition in Southeast Asia.

Singapore athletes have performed well in both regional and international competitions, mainly in swimming, badminton, table tennis, bowling, sailing, water polo, sepak takraw, and silat. To date, Singapore has won a total of one gold, two silver and two bronze Olympic medals. Singapore has also amassed a total of 41 gold, 59 silver and 117 bronze medals at the Asian Games.


The most popular sports in Singapore include outdoor sports like football, swimming, track and field, rugby union and cycling as well as various indoor sports like badminton, table tennis and basketball. Floorball has a young history in the country, but is gaining popularity.[2]

Most Singaporeans live in public residential areas with amenities like swimming pools, outdoor spaces (i.e. street football and basketball courts, running tracks)[3] and indoor sport centres, with facilities for badminton, table tennis, squash among others.

As an island city-state, Singapore is surrounded by waters thus, water sports like swimming, water polo, sailing, kayaking, rowing and waterskiing are also popular among Singaporeans.

Domestic competition

Singapore has its own football league, the Singapore Premier League (formerly known as S. League), formed in 1996,[4] which comprises nine clubs, including one based in Brunei.

In 2003, Singapore hosted a round of the UIM F1H2O World Championship in Marina Bay. The event subsequently took the title of Singapore Grand Prix.[5]

In 2006, the Singapore Slingers joined the National Basketball League in Australia but, left in 2008.[6] The Singapore Slingers were one of the inaugural teams in the ASEAN Basketball League founded in October 2009.[7]

Beginning in 2008, Singapore started hosting a round of the Formula One World Championship. The race was staged at the Marina Bay Street Circuit in the Marina Bay area, and became the first night race on the F1 calendar,[8] and the first street circuit in Asia.[9]

Government-sanctioned programmes

The Government of Singapore sanctions a variety of sports-based programmes for education in addition to the normal physical education. The National Physical Fitness Award (NAPFA) was introduced in 1982, a scheme which requires mandatory participation of all students within primary and secondary education. The scheme gives awards for a variety of physical tests for endurance, cardiovascular fitness and strength, including a medium-distance run of 1.6 or 2.4 kilometres for primary and secondary students respectively, and the results are reflected in each student's report book. As such, although gaining an award is not mandatory, students are often pressured to do so.

In addition, the government sponsors the Singapore Sports School, which was established on 2 April 2004, combining a secondary school curriculum with professional training in each student's preferred sport, in an attempt to nurture future generations of sportsmen and sportswomen. The concept behind the Singapore Sports School is that sporting talent should not be compromised when striving for academic excellence.

Youth Olympic Games

Main article: 2010 Summer Youth Olympics

On 21 February 2008 the International Olympic Committee announced[10] that Singapore won the bid to host the inaugural 2010 Summer Youth Olympics. Singapore beat Moscow in the final by 53 votes to 44.[11] On 15 September 2010, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports Teo Ser Luck announced that Singapore will start off the Singapore Biennale Games initiative to keep up the Singapore Youth Olympic Games 2010 Legacy, to be held every 2 years, starting from year 2011.[12]

Singapore has also performed well in subsequent editions of the Youth Olympic Games. To date, the country has won a total of 2 gold, 3 silver and 4 bronze medals. Singapore sent its first 3 winter sport athletes to the 2020 Winter Youth Olympics held in Lausanne, Switzerland.[13]

Rugby union

Main article: Rugby union in Singapore

Rugby was first introduced in Singapore during the late 19th century, when Singapore was still a Crown colony part of the British Empire. It has had a steady presence since the beginning of the 20th century, when the Malay Cup between the Singapore national team and the Malayan national team was established, which was one of the oldest rugby competitions in the world.[14]

List of achievements

See also: List of Singapore world champions in sports









The national floorball team for men at the 2022 World Championship


The National Stadium


In 2005, the Singaporean team won the Asian Netball Championship with a win over the Malaysian team with a score of 53–39 at the Finals.






Table tennis


Track and field



See also


  1. ^ "Outdoor basketball courts in Singapore".
  2. ^ Interview with GK from Singapore!
  3. ^ "Outdoor basketball courts in Singapore".
  4. ^ "About S-League". Football Association Singapore. 2008.
  5. ^ "F1H2O UIM World Championship".
  6. ^ "History". Singapore Slingers.
  7. ^ "ASEAN Basketball League takes off". FIBA Asia. 20 January 2009. Archived from the original on 16 August 2009.
  8. ^ "News – Singapore confirms 2008 night race" (Press release). Archived from the original on 13 June 2007. Retrieved 18 May 2007.
  9. ^ "SingTel to sponsor first Singapore Grand Prix" (Press release). 16 November 2007. Retrieved 10 December 2007.
  10. ^ "Youth Olympic Games 2010 (Singapore)" (Press release). Archived from the original on 26 February 2008. Retrieved 15 March 2008.
  11. ^ "Singapore won bid to host the inaugural 2010 Summer Youth Olympics" (Press release). Archived from the original on 26 May 2012. Retrieved 22 April 2010.
  12. ^ S, Ramesh (15 September 2010). "S'pore to kick off first Biennale Games in 2012". Channel NewsAsia. Retrieved 10 December 2010.
  13. ^ "Winter YOG commences in Olympic capital of Lausanne; Singapore has sent three athletes". The Straits Times. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
  14. ^ Bath, Richard (ed.) The Complete Book of Rugby (Seven Oaks Ltd, 1997 ISBN 1-86200-013-1) p71
  15. ^ "Highest billiard break-world record set by Peter Gilchrist". Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  16. ^ Yizhe, Koh. ""I was thinking of quitting the sport" – silat world champion, Muhammad Shakir (Part 1)". RED SPORTS.
  17. ^ "Joseph Schooling is Singapore's first Olympic champion". Channel NewsAsia. Mediacorp. 13 August 2016. Archived from the original on 14 August 2016. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  18. ^ "Table Tennis: YU Mengyu". Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Archived from the original on 29 July 2021. Retrieved 30 July 2021.