By Gabriel TanFollow @@gabetan13
Singapore football's premier cup competition enters its 16th year in 2013 and will be launched this weekend at one of the country's most iconic locations - The Float @ Marina Bay.
Last year, the S.League sought to generate publicity for the Singapore Cup by holding an event which included live performances, a ball-juggling contest amongst players from the competing clubs, as well as the highlight of the day - the draw for the opening round.
A similar event will be held once again on Sunday, but one change this year will be a greater emphasis on raising funds for TOUCH Community Services, a non-profit organisation that reaches out to "individuals from all religions and races, including children, youths, families, people with special and healthcare needs and the elderly".
Funds have already been raised through the RHB Singapore Cup Charity Football, a five-a-side tournament involving 16 teams, each of whom donated a minimum of S$2000 to participate in the competition. The sides are comprised of individuals from all walks of life, including Singapore's Members of Parliament (MPs).
The second initiative, which is likely to generate the most interaction with the public, is the "Kick a Ball, Win a Car" challenge, where participants stand a chance to win a car - valued at $38,500 - with just a $10 donation.
The challenge involves kicking a ball from a floating platform into a container situated a distance away in the Marina Reservoir. All players from the local S.League clubs will be present for the event and take part in the challenge, doing their bit for charity as well in the process.
Nonetheless, the main event on Sunday will still be the draw for the opening round of the 2013 Singapore Cup and Lim Chin, CEO of the S.League, revealed it will be the first of many this year.
"This year, we will have a draw for every round of the competition," he said at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon.
"This will add excitement to the competition."
Lim also revealed there will more prize money on offer this year, and thanked title sponsor RHB Bank for their continuing support.
"RHB Bank has become synonymous with the Singapore Cup for the longest time," he added. "In fact, this is their 9th year of sponsorship.
"There will be more prize money this year. $100,000, $60,000 and $40,000 will go to the first, second and third place teams, compared to last year's figures of $80,000, $40,000 and $20,000."
The foreign sides invited for this year's competition will only be revealed, although with the 12 S.League teams expected to participate, this leaves room for only four invited clubs should the 16-team format remain.
Nonetheless, as revealed earlier, FOX Sports believes United Football League giants Global and Loyola Meralco Sparks of Philippines have both been invited.
RHB Singapore Cup Charity Football 2013
Date: April 14, 2013 (Sunday)
Time: 4 to 6:30pm
Location: The Float @ Marina Bay
Image courtesy of S.League