Asean Schools Games: Student-athletes and performers raring to go ahead of opening ceremony

SINGAPORE - The Asean Schools Games (ASG) will kick off on Friday (July 14) with a vibrant showcase of youth at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

More than 600 student performers including military bands, singers and dancers from various schools will feature in the opening ceremony.

The Games will run from Saturday to Wednesday and Singapore is set to welcome 1,650 student-athletes and officials from all 10 South-east Asian nations.

Singapore will be represented by 205 athletes from 45 schools participating in all 10 sports.

Temasek Junior College swimmer Jade Lim will light the Games cauldron together with her father, Lim Tong Hai, a former national footballer.

Jade, a 17-year-old JC1 student who is the reigning A Division 100m breaststroke champion, said: "I feel really honoured to be chosen. There's so many more accomplished and deserving athletes who are participating. So the news came as a pleasant surprise for me."

"I think this will make the experience an unforgettable one," added the 1.68m-tall Jade, who trains six times a week at the Singapore Swimming Club. And for someone who is more comfortable in the water, she hopes she does not fumble during the climax of the opening ceremony. She quipped: "I hope I don't fall down."

It will be her fourth time competing at the annual meet, and she is hoping to finally clinch a gold medal. She has bagged a silver and two bronze medals in three previous Games.

Jade, who is also the captain of the Singapore swimming contingent, said: "I'm considered a veteran here, and I've a bigger role now being the captain. I'm expected to help and guide some of the younger swimmers."

Sharing the limelight with Jade will be Hwa Chong Institution's discus thrower Eric Yee, who will be leading the athletes to take the athletes' oath.

The JC2 student sat out of last year's edition of the Games because he tore his left meniscus.

He said: "I'm surprised to be chosen for this role before I didn't even take part in last year's Games. I've never spoken in front of a full stadium before. So I think it's going to be quite scary."