PM marks Youth Day, opens Sports Hub in front of 50,000 crowd

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong placing an item into the time capsule during the official opening of the Sports Hub during the MOE and MCCY-led Youth Day event called Youth Celebrate!, on Sunday, July 26, 2015.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong placing an item into the time capsule during the official opening of the Sports Hub during the MOE and MCCY-led Youth Day event called Youth Celebrate!, on Sunday, July 26, 2015.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN
Fireworks go off as Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong officially opens the Sports Hub on July 26, 2015.
Fireworks go off as Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong officially opens the Sports Hub on July 26, 2015.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong shaking hands with a student performer before taking his leave during the official opening of the Sports Hub.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong shaking hands with a student performer before taking his leave during the official opening of the Sports Hub.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong shakes hands with Fandi Ahmad who was taking part in Goal for a Cause, a modified football match where 50 budding student-athletes and 11 Singapore football veterans come together to raise funds for charity.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong shakes hands with Fandi Ahmad who was taking part in Goal for a Cause, a modified football match where 50 budding student-athletes and 11 Singapore football veterans come together to raise funds for charity.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

SINGAPORE -A colourful sea of light sticks waved to the beat at the National Stadium yesterday as a 53,000, near-capacity crowd cheered on thousands of young performers as they showcased their talents .

From freestyle drills and a frisbee game, to a dance comprising of martial arts moves, some 4,100 students exuded the confidence of seasoned performers with their crisp and choreographed movements.

The Youth Celebrate! event marked Youth Day as well as the official opening of the Sports Hub.

Earlier in the day about 500 students created the largest floating Singapore flag, wearing red and white floats at the OCBC Aquatic Centre.

The same group then created a new Singapore record of 7,505 laps swum in an hour, breaking the previous record of 3,772 laps.

Guest of honour at the event was Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who told the youth that they are Singapore's future: "Hearing you, feeling you: I know this is a future that is bright; a future that is full of hope."

The PM said the Republic's next 50 years will be down to them.

"Whatever we can do to prepare you, we have done: stable society, homes for everybody, good schools everywhere, jobs for your parents, opportunities ahead.

"Now make the most of what you have, stretch your limits, help one another, work with your fellow citizens as one Singapore team, show the world what Singapore can be."

Although Sunday was officially its opening, the 35-hectare Sports Hub - which includes an aquatic centre and multi-purpose sports arena - has already hosted various sporting events including this year's SEA Games and the Barclays Asia Trophy two weeks ago.

Mr Lee marked the occasion by sealing a time capsule containing 50 items symbolic of the Republic's sporting achievements.

It included national athlete Shanti Pereira's running shoes, which she wore when she broke the national women's 200m record for the first time in the heats of the 2013 Southeast Asian games in Myanmar.

The 18-year-old believes her shoes are a symbol of her hopes for the sporting scene here.

She said: "I really want to see young people into sports now to achieve really great things, being able to win gold medals at the SEA games and pursue their dreams in sports."

samboh@sph.com.sg