COMMUNITY GAMES: Record 10,000 pit skills in 7 sports

DPM Teo Chee Hean tossing the ball for the basketball final between Nee Soon South Constituency Sports Club (in grey) and Jalan Kayu Community Sports Club. The latter won the game 61-42.
DPM Teo Chee Hean tossing the ball for the basketball final between Nee Soon South Constituency Sports Club (in grey) and Jalan Kayu Community Sports Club. The latter won the game 61-42.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

Three new sports added next year as organisers aim to draw up to 15,000

WHILE many people here have turned into armchair athletes during the World Cup season, others have actually taken to the sporting arena themselves.

This year's three-month-long Singapore Community Games organised by the People's Association (PA) and the Community Sports Club Council drew to a close yesterday, after fierce competition in football, badminton, basketball, sepak takraw and bowling. The netball and table tennis finals were held earlier.

The 900 teams first had to win in their own district before vying for top spot against the champions of other districts.

About 2,000 participants and contestants gathered at the Pasir Ris Sports and Recreation Centre yesterday to watch the basketball and sepak takraw finals.

The Jalan Kayu Community Sports Club sunk all their shots as they hammered Nee Soon South Constituency Sports Club 61-42 in the basketball competition, while Paya Lebar Constituency Sports Club emerged victorious in sepak takraw.

A record 10,000 people joined the games, which took place from March to June this year. Last year's turnout was more than 9,000.

As in previous games, which aim to include Singaporeans from all walks of life, all of the teams had to ensure that they had either a mix of ages, races or backgrounds.

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, who attended Sunday's finale, said the games had been a success.

"That's been wonderful. It's also a very good way for people to keep fit and healthy in a fun way rather than just simply exercising," he said.

Mr Ang Hak Seng, the PA's chief executive director, said the games had helped people to bond.

"Some may come as strangers, but many leave as friends and good neighbours," he added.

Next year's games will feature three new sports - dragonboating, swimming and running - in addition to the existing seven.

Organisers are looking forward to boosting participation next year with hopes of attracting some 12,000 to 15,000 competitors in 2015.

DAVID EE