Asean Para Games: Organisers mark 50-day countdown with launch of community initiatives

MCCY Minister Grace Fu at the ceremony at Bendemeer Secondary School to mark the 50-day countdown to the Asean Para Games.
MCCY Minister Grace Fu at the ceremony at Bendemeer Secondary School to mark the 50-day countdown to the Asean Para Games. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
15 promotional posters featuring Singapore's para athletes were unveiled at the ceremony.
15 promotional posters featuring Singapore's para athletes were unveiled at the ceremony. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
Ms Grace Fu speaking to swimmer Yip Pin Xiu.
Ms Grace Fu speaking to swimmer Yip Pin Xiu. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
Ms Fu with Singapore Asean Para Games Organising Committee (Sapgoc) chairman Lim Teck Yin.
Ms Fu with Singapore Asean Para Games Organising Committee (Sapgoc) chairman Lim Teck Yin. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - To mark the 50 days to the start of the Asean Para Games (APG) held in Singapore, organisers launched a series of initiatives on Tuesday (Oct 13) morning designed to engage the wider community.

A new music video of the popular song Unbreakable, which is one of the three theme songs for both the Singapore SEA Games and the APG, was unveiled and will be available on various social media platforms.

It features six para athletes - Theresa Goh (swimming), Tay Wei Ming (badminton), Jovin Tan (sailing), Khairul Anwar (celebral palsy football), Nurulasyiqah Mohammad Taha and Toh Sze Ning (both boccia) - all of whom will be competing at the Dec 3-9 extravaganza on home soil.

The ceremony, held at Bendemeer Secondary School, was attended by Minister for Culture, Community and Culture Grace Fu and Senior Minister of State (Ministry of Finance, MCCY) Sim Ann.

Said Ms Fu: "This is an extraordinary opportunity for all of us to experience the power of disability sport. Our athletes are training hard and ready to fly the Singapore flag high.

"Let's all come together to support and celebrate our athletes as One Team Singapore."

The Singapore Asean Para Games Organising Committee (Sapgoc) also launched the Gift-a-Nila programme. This allows members of the public to sew heart-shaped mini cushions that will later be attached to the Nila plush toys and distributed to all participating athletes and officials.

A total of 3,000 athletes and officials from 11 countries will compete in 15 sports at the 8th APG, which the Republic is hosting for the first time.

The sports are archery, athletics, badminton, boccia, chess, football five-a-side, cerebral palsy football, goalball, sailing, shooting, swimming, powerlifting, table tennis, ten-pin bowling and wheelchair basketball.

Entry to all events will be free of charge and on a first-come-first-serve basis. Members of the public who register their interest at the official Games website (www.aseanparagames2015.com/get-involved/ticketing) will have priority. They can also join a specially designed tour that explains the nuances of the various sports and a visit to the APG sports carnival, held from Nov 28 to Dec 9 at the Singapore Sports Hub.

A series of promotional posters, featuring local para athletes, was also unveiled. The posters will be displayed on selected buses, trains, taxis, schools and ActiveSG centres islandwide. Cheer kits, which are goodie bags that include Team Singapore temporary tattoos and cards for students to write their good wishes, will be distributed to 100 local schools.

Sapgoc's chief of corporate and community outreach Toh Boon Yi said: "We want to celebrate this spirit of excellence. We hope more of our athletes will become household names and urge the community to get behind them as part of One Team Singapore."

At the previous APG held in Myanmar last year, Singapore claimed 26 medals - seven golds, 10 silvers and nine bronzes.

Para swimmer Yip Pin Xiu said: "It is a great feeling, knowing that we have the community cheering us on come December. An enthusiastic home crowd will definitely spur us to push our limits and to do Singapore proud."

More initiatives have been planned. Grassroots roadshows in Sengkang and Pasir Ris are scheduled for Nov 7 and 8 respectively.

On Nov 14, a mass rally, which will include the lighting of the APG flame and the official flag presentation ceremony, will be held at Marina Bay.