Founded in 1929, The Singapore Badminton Association (SBA) seeks to promote and develop badminton, one of the most popular sports in Singapore, as well as establish the Republic as a top badminton nation in the world.
As the governing board for badminton in Singapore, SBA co-ordinates, regulates, advises and administers all matters relating to the sport.
SBA is a member of the Badminton World Federation (BWF) and Badminton Asia Confederation (BAC), and an affiliate of the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC).
SBA, which has a total of 32 member clubs, is led by an elected Management Committee headed by its President, Mr. Lawrence Leow, who is also the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Crescendas Group.
To Be a Top Badminton Nation
To Promote Badminton as a Popular Sport Leading to the Establishment of Singapore as One of the Top Badminton Nations.
A Brief History of the SBA
Singapore Badminton Association was founded in 1929. It has since grown from strength to strength. Today it has a following of several thousand badminton enthusiasts. Before the last war, our badminton players like E J Vass, Koh Keng Siang, Leow Kim Fatt, Tan Chong Tee and S A Durai played well in international tournaments of nearby countries like India.
Of the ladies, Mrs Alice Pennefather was outstanding. She was a Champion for Singapore and Malaya for many years. Others like Y Yasuda, Chionh Hoik Chor & Helen Heng were also brilliant. But it was after the war that we struck gold.
In 1948, preparations were made for Malaya (including Singapore) to compete for the first time in the Thomas Cup to be held in 1949. At that time, all matches organised by the SBA were played at the Clerical Union Hall (one court), where conditions were far from ideal with the ceilings being too low and the lighting insufficient. Players had to be contented, often practicing in open-air courts.
In November 1948, when the Thomas Cup team made their final preparations by playing at the HAPPY WORLD covered stadium, the Malaya Tribune voiced their strong opinion that Singapore should have its own badminton hall.
In 1949, the then Malayan Thomas Cup team, which included Wong Peng Soon and Ong Poh Lim, was led by Mr Lim Chuan Geok. They went to England as the underdogs and against all expectations, beat Denmark in the finals by a spectacular 8-1.
The cry to get our own hall became stronger and stronger after the Thomas Cup victory. A fund for building the hall was finally launched by Mr John Laycock after a ceremony welcoming the victorious Thomas Cup team at the Victoria Memorial Hall on 30th May 1949. Mr John Laycock donated the first $1,000 and spoke very strongly for the need of building a hall with a capacity of 5,000 to 6,000. The objective of building the hall was for it to be the venue of the Thomas Cup finals in 1952.
In February 1951, Guillemard Road was the site chosen for the hall. The estimated cost then was $200,000/- to $250,000/- but the eventual cost rose to $800,000. Donations then totalled $32,000, a collection far below the required amount. Mr Aw Boon Haw, then Patron of the SBA, came to the rescue with a loan of $250,000/-. Owing to disagreements in the Management Committee, a new Badminton Hall Committee was formed headed by Mr Tan Ark Sye. Despite this, funds were still short by over $400,000. Nevertheless, Mr Lim Chuan Geok pressed ahead with the construction and the main contractor, C H Tong, generously assisted by commencing work.
The hall became a reality in 1952, but not after overcoming many problems and leaving the Association very much in the “red”. The Association could not pay. The ultimate outcome was the surrender of the hall to the Singapore Sports Council which took over the debts.
Malaya’s defence of the Thomas Cup did take place in that hall in 1952. With Wong Peng Soon, Ong Poh Lim and Ismail Marjan in the team, they defeated America 7-2.
The Thomas Cup finals in 1955 and 1958 were again held in the badminton hall.
The 1955 team was led by Wong Peng Soon and included Ong Poh Lim as well. Mr Leow Kim Fatt was the coach. The team beat Denmark 8-1.
1958 saw the end of our Thomas Cup glory, when we went down 3-6 to Indonesia.
Individually, Wong Peng Soon, Ong Poh Lim and Ismail Marjan, have won numerous championships. Wong Peng Soon was the All England Champion in 1950, 1951 and 1952 consecutively. In 1955 at the ripe age of 38, he was crowned the All England Championship once again. Ong Poh Lim and Ismail Marjan won the All England doubles title a number of times. During their prime, they too excelled exceptionally by capturing almost all doubles titles in the world.