Participants give their all at NDP rehearsal

Far left: Vaishali is a first-time participant in the Girls' Brigade contingent. Left: Ms Siti has been taking part in the NDP for more than 10 years.
Left: Vaishali is a first-time participant in the Girls' Brigade contingent. Right: Ms Siti has been taking part in the NDP for more than 10 years.

Participants - from first-timers to veterans - of the first National Day Parade (NDP) to be held in the new National Stadium were all psyched up during the combined rehearsal yesterday.

Vaishali Siva Ganesan, 15, a first-time participant in the Girls' Brigade contingent, said the one goal her team had in mind was to put on a good show for Singapore.

"The training could be tough at times but, despite the long hours, we have persevered through it all."

In one of the halls in the bowels of the stadium, the atmosphere was electrifying as contingents getting ready for the rehearsal let out cheers of excitement.

Senior Minister of State for Defence Mohamad Maliki Osman, who was at the stadium yesterday, said: "The spirit that I saw with the participants was really exhilarating."

And there are some 10,000 of them, aged seven to 79.

Dr Maliki commended the 1,200 Muslim participants for "rehearsing very, very hard" despite fasting during Ramadan. "The National Day Parade is one that bonds everyone together," he added.

People's Association member Mary Teo Oi Chuang, 67, enjoys taking part in the NDP because she can make friends and remain active.

"Sometimes the sun is very hot but we are really very happy after the performance. I will be participating every year unless I can't move any more."

Ms Siti Noraza Daham, 42, from the NTUC contingent, who has been participating in the NDP for more than 10 years, said her team is like family.

"I was always telling myself this is going to be the last, but I keep coming back."

Lin Yangchen

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 03, 2016, with the headline 'Participants give their all at NDP rehearsal'. Print Edition | Subscribe