Sports clubs and organizations in changing times: The case of Singapore

Wai Cheong Eugene Chew, Ho Jin Chung, Jung-Woo Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sports clubs are places where people commonly gather to engage in sports. In many countries it is a key component of the sport delivery system. This study examines the role and evolution of sports clubs in Singapore against a backdrop of the socio-political-economic development. In the process, three themes are identified, namely, (a) influence of state intervention, (b) nature and relevance of sports clubs through the years, and (c) market sector development and its influence on sports clubs. The functionalist view provides us with an understanding of the socio-political-economic conditions and why the government of Singapore employs sport as a vehicle for social development and nation-building. How the resultant sports policies, state-funded facilities, and sports participation conduits offered by the private sector shaped the evolution of the role of sports clubs is discussed. In Singapore, the role of the sports clubs is unique in that participating in sports is no longer confined to the traditional sports clubs, but is distributed across state-funded facilities and membership programmes as well as private sector offerings. Instead of sports being confined to the elite few as in the past, the notion of “Sport Without Boundaries” envision by Vision2030 is becoming a reality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-86
Number of pages16
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Sport and Social Science
Issue number1
Early online date8 Feb 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Feb 2017


  • sports club and organization
  • Singaporean society
  • sport policy
  • national strategy


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