Contributed by Phua Kai Ting

Singapore, Friday, January 8, 2010 – Singapore will see some 600 athletes from more than 20 countries* competing in the Friendship Games - a series of national and international level competitions in the month of January.

The competitions provide opportunities for the Singapore Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee (SYOGOC) to validate its Games-time operations plan.

Six sports will be contested in the Friendship Games: Wrestling, Taekwondo, Boxing, Judo, Fencing and Handball. Competitions will be held at the International Convention and Exhibition Centre (ICC) - the official competition venue of these six sports during the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games (Singapore 2010).

Organised by the respective National Sports Associations (NSA), the Friendship Games are clustered together to closely simulate scenarios during Singapore 2010.

Wrestling and Handball, two of the new NSAs formed due to Singapore 2010, will also be organising their first international competitions in the Friendship Games.

"We are making good progress in our preparations to host the first-ever YOG. Through the Friendship Games, we will refine our operational processes and procedures as well as train our officials and volunteers who will be managing these sports competitions during Singapore 2010. The Friendship Games will ensure that we are more operationally ready for Singapore 2010," said Mr Goh Kee Nguan, Chief Executive Officer of SYOGOC.

SYOGOC is carrying out a series of validation exercises from June 2009 to June 2010. The most recent exercise was held in conjunction with the Asia-Oceania Youth Olympic Games Qualification Competition for Modern Pentathlon from 19 to
20 December last year.

The next Friendship Games will take place in May 2010 and will see competitions in Archery, Athletics, Basketball, Canoe-Kayak, Cycling BMX Gymnastics, Mountain Bike, Rowing, Volleyball and Weightlifting.

*Australia, Bahamas, Canada, Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Ireland, Malaysia, Mauritius, New Zealand, Nigeria, Northen Ireland, Pakistan, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, UK and Wales.

Wrestling 2010 Commonwealth Youth Wrestling Championships
7-8 Jan 10.30am-8pm
Hall 403, 404

Taekwondo Singapore Elite Youth Taekwondo Championships
7-8 Jan 5pm-9pm
Hall 401, 402

Boxing SIJORI Invitational Boxing Championships
10-11 Jan 3pm-9pm (10 Jan)
2pm-9.30pm (11 Jan)
Hall 401, 402

Judo 13th Commonwealth Judo Championships
10-12 Jan 10am-6pm
Hall 403, 404

Fencing Singapore Cadet Fencing World Cup 2010
22-24 Jan 2pm-9.30pm
Hall 601, 602

Handball Inaugural Singapore Youth Handball Tournament 2010
26-28 Jan 10am-10pm
Hall 601, 602