10-year-old boy gets the chance to go to the arcade for the first time in his life

Mohd Hilmi bin Muhd Sanif, 10, visited an arcade for the first time, during Our Tampines Hub's community outreach event.
Mohd Hilmi bin Muhd Sanif, 10, visited an arcade for the first time, during Our Tampines Hub's community outreach event.ST PHOTO: FABIAN KOH

SINGAPORE - In all 10 of his years, Mohd Hilmi bin Muhd Sanif has never been to the arcade.

"We can't afford it," said the Tampines Primary School student.

The youngest in his family, Hilmi has five brothers and a sister with the oldest at 26. His father is the sole breadwinner of the family, and his mother is a housewife.

On Thursday (Dec 21) Hilmi was having fun at Timezone arcade, as part of Our Tampines Hub's first community outreach event.

Launched in August this year, Our Tampines Hub, Singapore's largest lifestyle hub, is aimed at reaching out to the community in the town. It boasts of facilities such as swimming pools, a clinic and a library, among others.

Hilmi was among 250 people from All Saints Home (Tampines), Jamiyah Home for the Aged, Kheng Chiu Loke Tin Kee Home, Pertapis Children's Home and Yeah! (Youths Engaged At Heartlands) who gathered on Thursday to celebrate the festive season.

The half-day event saw seniors taking part in activities such as cooking demonstrations and talks by health experts. The children were treated to a bowling session and play time at the arcade. There was also a screening of the latest Star Wars movie.

Mr Suhaimi Rafdi, director at People's Association for Our Tampines Hub, said: "Today's community outreach project is a dedicated effort to bring the elderly, the marginalised and the vulnerable into our fold in OTH's DNA of all-inclusiveness."

Our Tampines Hub has averaged 1.5 million visitors monthly since its opening, a figure Mr Suhaimi said was "higher than our expectations".

He added that Thursday's event would be an annual affair, and he expects the number of participants to increase in the future as the community becomes more aware of its existence.

The basketball machine was Hilmi's favorite game at the arcade, and he also tried his hand at the claw machine and driving simulators.

Hilmi got a couple of mementoes after his first visit to the arcade, exchanging the coupons he had won in games for a lollipop and a mini USB lamp.

"It was really very fun, and I would like to come again with my siblings," he said.