The NUS community now has a new venue on campus to hone their sporting skills. The University Sports Centre (USC) on the Kent Ridge campus has opened its doors to the community since early October, with brand new facilities catering to a myriad of sports including fencing, floorball, squash and water polo at both competitive and recreational levels.
The three-storey USC replaces the former Sports and Recreation Centre (SRC) building and offers three times more space with a total floor area of 9,104sqm. The USC features a triple-volume atrium; a thoroughfare coupled with student‐centric social spaces; indoor sports hall; two Olympic-sized swimming pools (one outdoor and one indoor); an outdoor training pool; four squash courts, a fitness and conditioning lab; a multipurpose mezzanine; as well as three meeting rooms of various capacities, two of which can be configured to become a larger meeting space. The former SRC was completed in 1982 and demolished in 2014 to make way for the USC. The USC development was completed earlier this year.
Located on level three, the indoor sports hall at USC can be used for four sports — basketball, floorball, handball and netball. Spanning 1,920sqm, the arena is large enough for two concurrent games of netball or basketball. Seating for some 350 spectators line one wall of the hall, with a mezzanine level overlooking the courts.
Petrina Yeow, Year 4 NUS Arts and Social Sciences student and varsity women’s floorball team captain, found the indoor sports hall an improvement over their previous training venue. “The court at the USC is bigger and the floor markings comply with world floorball standards. The stands are really good for interacting and team bonding as well. Previously, we sat on the ground; here, people will come early and talk more.” Added Izzah Rani Bte Zulkiffli, Year 4 NUS Science student and vice-captain, “The USC is brighter and the floor is good for us because it’s soft and non-slip.”
Gerald Sim, Year 3 student from NUS Business School and captain of the NUS men’s water polo team, said that they began training at the USC in early October. Before the USC was ready, the team trained at the Co-Curricular Activities Branch Swimming Complex located next to NUS Bukit Timah Campus. Gerald appreciated the advantages of USC’s two Olympic-sized swimming pools, which provided more space for various teams to train. Team members also felt good about returning to NUS. “Training in our school itself feels more homely. Training alongside the other teams, even though they are doing different sports, feels like we’re training for NUS together,” he explained.
USC has achieved Singapore’s highest mark of distinction for sustainable building excellence, having been awarded the Building & Construction Authority Green Mark Platinum Award in 2015. Various sustainable design elements and strategies were incorporated during the development of USC, such as the inclusion of open spaces which allow for natural ventilation via a tunnel effect, use of high efficiency light fittings as well as strict adherence to detailed waste management protocols.
USC will be officially launched on 29 October by NUS President Professor Tan Chorh Chuan.