By Nick Butler

Rowing is among the six sports added to the final programme for Singapore 2015 ©Getty ImagesBoxing, equestrian, rowing and volleyball, along with floorball and petanque, have been added to the programme for the Singapore 2015 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games to bring the total number of sports being contested to 36. 

Beginning in Bangkok in 1959, the SEA Games is a multi-sport event for Olympic and non-Olympic sports which consists of the 11 countries that make up Southeast Asia.

After an original list of 30 sports was announced in December, the SEA Games Federation Executive Committee has now confirmed that six additional sports, and 402 events, have been confirmed for the next edition of the biannual event from June 5 to 16, 2015.

There will now be 24 Olympic sports on the programme along with other disciplines, including billiards, sepak takraw and water skiing, while floorball will feature officially for the first time after being a demonstration sport in the 2013 edition.

This follows a series of meetings in Singapore involving representatives from the SEA Games Federation and the sports bidding for inclusion, with officials confirming afterwards that they had to turn down at least nine other sports.

Among the sports to miss out are weightlifting and karate after each failed to meet rigorous selection criteria.

The last SEA Games took place in Naypyidaw, Myanmar in 2013 ©Getty ImagesThe last SEA Games took place in Naypyidaw, Myanmar in 2013 ©Getty Images

"There are 53 sports in the charter, but obviously nobody is big enough to host 53 sports to make everybody happy," said SEA Games Federation Sport and Rules Committee chairman Chris Chan.

"For us we had our factors, quite obviously you want to have a sport that you are strong in, and it is also related to popularity.

"If you are strong in it I am sure there is a following."

Similar views on the high standards of the sports bidding for inclusion were revealed by Executive Committee chairman Dr Tan Eng Liang following the announcement.

"I am revealing for the first time that we did go to a higher level to say, 'Can we please include one or two more', because the appeal would be very strong for more than 36," he admitted.

He added that he hopes the next edition of the tournament leaves a good impression on the visiting athletes and delegates, before revealing he had received good feedback from the various foreign officials commenting on "excellent" services provided by voluntary liaison officers.

He also thanked the volunteers for their good work and stressed that the role they play will contribute greatly to an "extraordinary" Games in 2015.

For more information on the full list of sports and disciplines, click here

The 2017 SEA Games are due be held in Kuala Lumpur and Kuching, Malaysia, on dates yet to be announced.

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