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    Dec 16, 2013

    Deal will put spotlight on lesser-known sports

    THE historic Sports Hub sponsorship deal could give non-mainstream sports - such as Malay martial arts silat and fencing - a leg up.

    Inked last month, the 15-year deal in excess of $50 million between OCBC Group and Singapore Sports Hub will not exclude such sports, said Mr Mark Collins, the Sports Hub's managing director.

    "It would be very easy for us to say, well, football is very popular, let's just use (sponsorship money) all on football, because everybody loves football. But that's not right," he told MyPaper.

    "There are a lot of non-mainstream sports... We don't want to exclude them. So we would use these types of proceeds to make sure that all those sports that may have only a small following get their day in the sun."

    It was announced that the sponsorship money will be channelled primarily to fund community activities "not typically commercially viable for operators to organise".

    When it opens in April next year, the Sports Hub will be one of Asia's most modern sporting venues and would give Singapore an edge when it comes to bidding for international sporting events, especially as bidding is "getting more competitive" in the region.

    Calling it a "magnet for attention", Mr Collins said the Sports Hub has first-class facilities which are in demand.

    "(An advantage) we have is that Singapore is one of the safest nations in the world, we have some of the best transport infrastructure in the world and we have the No. 1 airport in the world."