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Speech by Mrs Lim Hwee Hua,Senior Minister of State for Finance and Transport, at Launch of Singapore Turf Club Riding Centre, 1 October 2008, 10.30 am

01 Oct 2008

Mr Bobby Chin, Chairman, Singapore Tote Board;
Mr Tan Guong Ching, Chairman, Singapore Turf Club;
Mr Lim Joo Boon, Chairman, Singapore Turf Club Riding Centre,
Ladies and Gentlemen, Good morning.

I am very pleased to be here today for the launch of the Singapore Turf Club Riding Centre. I would like to commend the Singapore Turf Club for building the Riding Centre and making recreational riding affordable to the general public.

Making Riding Accessible to Singaporeans

2. Riding in Singapore has a long history dating back to the time of Sir Stamford Raffles. Over the years, riding has remained largely an activity out of reach for many Singaporeans. Currently, to ride in Singapore, you will require membership at a private club or would have to take lessons at a commercial riding facility, both of which can be very costly. On average, it can cost between $80 to $120 for a 45-minute ride. With the opening of the Singapore Turf Club Riding Centre, where the fees of $15 to $75 for a 45 minute ride[1] are a fraction of the commercial charges, riding will be made more accessible to many Singaporeans.

Developing our Youth

3 I am also very heartened by Singapore Turf Club's commitment to developing our youth. In hosting structured programmes comprising theory and practical lessons, camps and inter-school competitions which will be part of students' Co-Curricular Activities, the Riding Centre will be a place where our youth can interact with each other and learn important life skills such as discipline, responsibility and respect for animals and the environment. Riding will also be excellent for character- and confidence-building. These are important values which we want to impart to our young. Take for example our sportsmen and women who did Singapore proud in the recent Olympics and Paralympics in Beijing. They showed that with passion, determination and a strong belief in oneself, they can overcome the odds and achieve glory not only on a personal level but for Singapore too. Ms Laurentia Tan won 2 bronze medals for Singapore for Equestrian at the Paralympics and in the process inspired many of us with her achievement.

4 The Singapore sporting scene has taken on a new dimension with Singapore hosting the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in 2010 and the Youth Olympic Games is an excellent platform to involve our community, in particular our youths, in sports. The Singapore Turf Club Riding Centre will be the venue for equestrian sports for the Youth Olympic Games in 2010 and I hope the Centre will serve as the catalyst to nurture the interest in riding among our youth.

5 Given its well-planned programmes, excellent facilities and affordable rates, I'm confident that the Riding Centre will succeed in its mission to grow the sport and promote riding as an affordable activity for the community at large. I urge Singaporeans to take advantage of the facilities provided by the Riding Centre.

6 I would also like to take this opportunity to wish all Muslim Singaporeans Selamat Hari Raya Puasa and all children a happy Children's Day.

Thank you.


[1] The fees at the Riding Centre will range from $15 for primary school children and up to $75 for adult riders for a 45-minute session