- Funding and scheduling issues brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic led to the cancellation of the IHG.
- Halls of residence were unable to pay the total $4,000 fees to participate in the competition, organisers said.
- The recreational games competition IHRG and dance competition HOCC are expected to continue, they told Soapbox.
Student athletes will have to wait another year to compete in the Inter-Hall Games (IHG), which have been scrapped for the second year in a row.
Hall Olympiad chairman Yeo Yi, 20, told Soapbox on Friday (Dec 10) that the games were cancelled due to funding and scheduling issues brought on by pandemic restrictions.
She said each hall of residence would have to fork out $3,000 for antigen rapid test (ART) kits — on top of their regular $1,000 participation fee — to adhere to Singapore’s pilot scheme for sports.
The pilot scheme allows up to 10 fully-vaccinated persons onsite, including players, linesmen, and umpires, and requires all of them to produce a valid negative ART result before each game.
Coupled with budget cuts from this year, the rise in costs made it unfeasible for some halls to pay the full $4,000, Yeo Yi, a Year 2 business student, said.
Student organisers had to continually redraft plans with the Student Affairs Office because Singapore’s safe management measures kept changing, she added.
“Venue-wise, time-wise, schedule-wise. It’s all not in our favour,” she said.
She estimated the IHG would have stretched until the end of the academic year, as her team would need to space out the games to factor in Covid-19 rules and make way for other competitions that share the same venues.
As a contingency, they planned to salvage the IHG by planning a smaller event for only racket sports, but that too fell through due to changes in Covid-19 measures.
“We really wanted it to happen… It’s a regret on our part,” Yeo Yi said.
The team is now focused on the Inter-Hall Recreational Games and the dance competition Hall Olympiad Closing Ceremony, which she said are still expected to carry on.
“Even without IHG we can still have training and play sports, the sports culture in halls can continue even without IHG, and we can pray that hopefully IHG can happen next year,” she said.
Some hall sports secretaries are planning to hold “Inter-Block Games”, or smaller contests between athletes of the same hall or hall cluster.
Hall 10 sports secretary Cloe Wong, 20, said the decision to cancel the games came as a surprise and hoped they would resume by next year.
“It is quite sad, because the teams trained very hard from the start of the year, since it was planned to happen this year with the safe management measures in place,” said the Year 1 economics student.