Most sports events continue despite haze

The friendly match between the Cerebral Palsy Football team and the Parliament team went ahead yesterday despite hazy conditions. Mr Shafiq Ariff (in blue), 23, is seen shielding the ball from MP Chong Kee Hiong (Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC) as MP Muhamad F
The friendly match between the Cerebral Palsy Football team and the Parliament team went ahead yesterday despite hazy conditions. Mr Shafiq Ariff (in blue), 23, is seen shielding the ball from MP Chong Kee Hiong (Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC) as MP Muhamad Faisal Abdul Manap (Aljunied GRC) watched. The match ended 6-4 to the Cerebral Palsy team.ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

Although the haze blanketed most parts of Singapore yesterday, with the 24-hour Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) ranging from 68 to 121 (unhealthy), most sports events around the country carried on and participants enjoyed their day out with no hitches.

Yesterday's Puma Night Run at the Seletar Aerospace Park, which began at 6pm, saw the 12km and 6km Open runs go on as scheduled. All races would have been cancelled if the 24-hour PSI exceeded 200.

"It's heartening to see the great turnout and energetic participants despite the gloomy outlook," said Mr Gabriel Yap, Puma South-east Asia's marketing head.

At the Queenstown Stadium, the national cerebral palsy football team played a friendly match against the Parliament team at 3pm, with the former winning 6-4.

The National Para-Swimming Championships also continued as planned, with 116 para-athletes competing at Toa Payoh Swimming Complex.

Mrs Michele Liauw, 41, whose 10-year-old son Jeremiah took part in the meet, said of the haze: "It wasn't that bad. Not something that would kill you, and what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right?

"Besides, I'm sure if it was that bad, the officials would know better and would have called it off. We've all seen worse haze than (yesterday) anyway."

However, the ActiveSG Football Academy called off its morning training sessions yesterday when the 24-hour PSI exceeded 100 at 7am. It measured 90 to 143, which was in the unhealthy range. The cancellation was announced in a Facebook post. The Academy will continue to monitor the air quality and will cancel training today if the 24-hour PSI level exceeds 100 at 7am.

Mr Rajan T., 55, whose six-year-old granddaughter Putri Omiraisha missed out on training at the Serangoon Stadium, said: "The children can't help but feel disappointed. But calling the training off is a good move because health is a very important concern when it comes to young kids.

"You never know what might happen and how the haze might affect a child's health. It's always better to take precautions."

Organisers of the Safra Singapore Bay Run & Army Half Marathon, which takes place today, will also monitor the three-hour PSI closely.

If the reading is between 101 and 200, the run will continue, but adjustments will be made to reduce prolonged or strenuous outdoor physical exertion. Should it exceed 200, the event will be cancelled.

Given the air quality forecast, the National Environment Agency advises the public to reduce prolonged or strenuous outdoor physical exertion. Those who are not feeling well, especially the elderly and children, and those with chronic heart or lung conditions, should seek medical attention.

•Additional reporting by Jean Iau

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 28, 2016, with the headline 'Most sports events continue despite haze'. Print Edition | Subscribe