Resort facilities

‘A serious shot in the arm’: Private sports facilities welcome move to allow more participants

GROUP SIZE RESTRICTIONS

Mr Rajesh Mulani, co-founder of The Cage, called the latest move a “serious shot in the arm” for the futsal facility.

“The group size restrictions for team sports are a complete deal breaker. This is not a minor issue or an inconvenience. It just means that team sports cannot take place,” Mr. Rajesh.

“Over the last couple of years we’ve had to resort to just hosting academies or just doing fitness work and things like that. So in that context, it’s a reboot, a serious shot in the arm for us.

Mr Jimmy Beh, director of sports management at ARK, which runs four futsal venues, expressed his relief.

“We have clients who want to play with more than ten participants… That they play for two hours is not the norm. Before COVID-19 it was three to four teams,” he said. he noted.

Mr Tony Tan, commercial director of the sports company Coldcut, owner of the Red Quarters floorball facility, said the increased limit will allow larger groups of participants to spread the costs among themselves.

“These things are being taken care of, we will definitely see an increase in bookings (with this new move)… We’ve had a flurry of enquiries,” he added.

The same thing happens at La Cage.

“Our phones kept ringing,” Mr Rajesh said. “We have told customers that we cannot take their reservations now as we do not know the protocols yet, but once we know the protocols we will advertise accordingly and that is when we can start. to take reservations.”

Existing restrictions have put a damper on one particular aspect of the weekend kick, which Mr Rajesh hopes will return soon.

“A lot of amateur sport is the social element and we haven’t tasted that yet. Now that we have bigger sizes and things like that, we can do a bit of that,” he explained. .

AVOID “DARK DAYS”

Since November last year, The Cage, Red Quarters and The ARK Futsal have been part of a pilot program allowing companies to host team sports involving up to 10 fully vaccinated people. All participants must produce a valid negative rapid antigen test result on site prior to the activity.

Mr Rajesh said the program had resulted in a “massive explosion” of interest.

“People were rushing. But there were inconveniences for customers because they could only come in groups of 10, no more,” he explained.

“There were a lot of pent-up requests. People were eager to come back and play and they didn’t mind taking the ART tests,” Mr Beh agreed.

But the need for on-site testing meant that facilities had to increase manpower – business costs that The Ark, with its fully automated futsal venues, faced.

“We feel that’s important, but it wasn’t our original business model. We had to adapt and change it,” he explained.

At The Cage’s facility in Kallang, the workforce nearly doubled to meet the demands of the pilot project.

“Since November we’ve had to really increase our numbers and manage all the necessary steps and protocols that our guys should have gone through to manage accordingly,” Mr Rajesh said.

“Not having to deal with the whole self-testing protocol is going to be a big relief.”

Mr. Tan from Red Quarters expressed similar sentiments. The company had to double its workforce because of the pilot project.

While staff members may no longer be required to oversee participants’ on-site testing, Mr Tan said plans are to retain them to help with other areas like enforcing social distancing rules. security.

They will also be deployed to disinfect the court and changing rooms after each booking.

“We don’t want to break (the rules). If private and public sports facility managers can do it all together, we’re not going to go back to the dark days of two and five (per group).”