Netball Singapore (NS) has progressed dramatically since it commenced in 1962 with 23 registered clubs. It has emerged from being an amateur sport run by volunteer management who relied on grants and donations, to becoming a professionally run NSA with secretariat staff and which generates a proportion of its expenditure through revenue generation and sponsorship. NS is the National body for netball in Singapore.
Since its inception, netball - as the fastest growing women’s sport in Singapore with an estimated 80,000 active social and competitive members - has achieved a number of important milestones that showcase what the sport has achieved in the area of excellence.
Netball Singapore hosted the World Championships in 1983, the first Asian country to participate in the World Championship, as well as the first in Asia to host a tournament of such large capacity. Netball Singapore also hosted an international Pre-Commonwealth Games Extravaganza in 1998 and an International Extravaganza in 2001.
In addition, Singapore has a well-established infrastructure to support major conferences. The International Federation of Netball Associations (IFNA) held its 2001 Congress in Singapore. This attracted almost 100 delegates from over 30 nations. The year 1999 proved an important milestone when Netball Singapore took its first step towards professionalism by forming the Netball Super League annually; a four-month long, 10-round tournament developed to cater for elite players in Singapore.
In 2005, Netball Singapore hosted the Asian Netball Championships and won the title in front of 3,000 fans against Malaysia in the finals. Never to let up, Netball Singapore created the first international netball tournament in Asia in 2006 – the Nations Cup. The event has since grown to a 6-teams tournament and is recognised as a key international event by IFNA.
Moving beyond the mainstream netball, Netball Singapore started a 4-on-4 beach netball carnival in 2009 to raise the profile of Netball amongst the tertiary students and young working adults and to make the sport more visible locally to the lifestyle segment.
Come July 2011, Netball Singapore will be hosting the World Netball Championships at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. Singapore last hosted the event 28 years ago but netball fans can expect next year’s edition to be more exciting and more entertaining.