- Covid-19 measures would have extended the IHG season to March 2021, and restrictions on the number of students allowed to play at one time posed further challenges for the games, said organisers
- The Inter-Hall Recreational Games will still be held from mid-December onward, but only for selected games, said the Hall Olympiad Committee
Photo and text by Chong Xin Wei
NTU’s annual Inter-Hall Games (IHG) have been cancelled this year due to safety and logistical concerns amid the Covid-19 pandemic, organisers announced on Monday (23 Nov).
This is the first time that organisers have called off IHG, a sports competition involving NTU’s Halls of Residence.
Players from all 22 sports categories will not compete in this year’s games, which were scheduled to run from December to February.
IHG chairperson Ng Shang Yu, 21, said that organisers from the Hall Olympiad Committee (HOC) and Joint Hall Sports Council (JHSC) cancelled IHG as they found it unfeasible to organise the games in line with Covid-19 safe management measures.
Their decision is still subject to approval by the Student Affairs Office, he added.
Had the games not been cancelled, the competition season would have been extended till March to spread out match schedules to accommodate safe management measures, said Shang Yu.
Under these measures, student players are limited to groups of five, without intermingling between groups. Additionally, many sports venues like the NTU Sports and Recreation Centre have restrictions on the number of people allowed to be present at one time, said Shang Yu.
Organisers would have to book more sporting venues, and could compete with bookings made by members of the public, he said.
The cancellation announcement puts to rest weeks of speculation among student athletes — many of whom have continued to prepare for the season.
Shang Yu, who is also the sports director of Hall 3, said: “As a player I felt disappointed because it was one of the things I was looking forward to, as a hall resident who is quite active in sports.”
“Covid is a very real thing, so I understand where they are coming from even if it is a little frustrating.”
Hall 1 sports director Smitha Saravanan, 19, who also plays netball and badminton, said: “It can’t be denied that at the end of the day all of us looked forward to representing our halls, especially for the graduating seniors who trained hard for their last IHG.”
“But the cancellation of IHG was a decision made after much contemplation and meetings. So, I believe that it was unavoidable,” the Sports Science & Management student said.
“Initially, I felt like some of the training had gone to waste. But I realised that it was the journey where we trained hard and made strong bonds with others that mattered.”
Meanwhile, the Inter-Hall Recreational Games will proceed as planned in mid-December, but only for selected games, HOC wrote in a message disseminated to hall councils.
Soapbox understands that no decision has been made on whether the Inter-Hall Cheer Competition and Hall Olympiad Closing Ceremony will proceed this season.