40,000 take part in community sports day across 76 locations

Residents taking part in the community sports day at Toa Payoh Community Club.
Residents taking part in the community sports day at Toa Payoh Community Club. PHOTO: ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - More than 40,000 residents took part in a community sports day across 76 locations in Singapore on Sunday (July 23) morning. They joined in activities ranging from races to frisbee games and tug-of-war.

This is the second edition of the People's Association Community Sports Day, aimed at celebrating racial harmony and diversity through sports.

For example, at Toa Payoh Central Community Club, more than 60 residents took part in a race where they had to go through five stations and clear 40 tasks - some of which are quizzes on heritage, race and culture, or putting on traditional costumes.

Dr Ng Eng Hen, Minister for Defence and grassroots adviser to Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC, called the annual event "a signal of unity".

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Speaking to reporters after launching the event at Toa Payoh Central Community Club, he said: "Sports is quite an antidote to the different forces that are pulling communities apart now - including religion, sometimes language - particularly because of the threat of terrorism when people misuse religion to tear communities apart."

No country is immune to terror threats, he said.

A recent report by the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict warned that Singapore could be a potential target for the terror network in the Philippine city of Marawi on Mindanao Island.

Said Dr Ng: "If you look at the number of attacks that have occurred across all cities, not only have the attacks within each city gone up, the number of cities that have been attacked have gone up. And these forces, because of globalisation, because of social media, because of connectivity, permeate all societies. And therefore, because no country is immune, we have to prepare for it and prepare for the day after an event attacks."

For Mr Tow Milan, 54, a sales executive who attended the sports day with his son, such events are opportunities for him to interact with other Toa Payoh residents. "We get to know the people around us, their families and children.