Sister Act gets Clementi residents moving

Led by Miss Shereen Ng, Clementi residents do squats using household items such as detergent bottles at Firefly Park in Clementi.
Led by Miss Shereen Ng, Clementi residents do squats using household items such as detergent bottles at Firefly Park in Clementi.PHOTO: COURTESY OF SHAUN NG

Getting all hands on deck

Earlier this year, sporty siblings Shereen and Shermaine Ng decided to take their fitness regime a step further by conducting free exercise sessions for their fellow Clementi residents.

Every fortnight at Firefly Park, between Clementi Avenues 4 and 6, the sisters hold an hour-long, pop music-driven workout focusing on strength, cardio and balance, using ordinary items such as detergent containers and chairs.

"It can be intimidating to see others lifting heavy weights in the gym," said Miss Shereen Ng, 23.

"We wanted to use household items to make fitness accessible. When you do bicep curls, all you actually need is a detergent bottle," said the Nanyang Technological University final-year student and a certified personal fitness trainer.

While their pilot session in March saw only five or six people in attendance, the number is now about 20 to 30.

Breakout sessions were also introduced so residents could devise their own exercises and learn more about each other in smaller groups. During their Father's Day edition, for instance, participants took turns to share about their fathers.

Human resources and administrative manager Chua Yean Cheng, 44, attends the sessions with her husband and three children.

"At first, I thought they were grassroots leaders. But it's just two young girls doing something for their neighbourhood," said Ms Chua.

"What impresses me is their dedication. I would love for my kids to emulate that."

It is also a family affair for the organisers. Their mother, Madam Ivy Tan, 49, helps with the registration booth, while their brother Shaun, 17, takes photos.

Miss Shermaine Ng, 19, who handles logistics, budgeting and manpower, has done voluntary work since she was in primary school. But doing something for her own neighbourhood is special, she said.

"Although we all live in close proximity to each other, we are ironically not really present. When we pass each other, we usually just say 'hi' and 'bye'," she said.

"My most valuable takeaways from this are the friendships."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 30, 2016, with the headline 'Sister Act gets Clementi residents moving'. Print Edition | Subscribe