Feast of activities a bonanza for families

While beach volleyball (above) was one of the many attractions at the inaugural Sports Hub Community Play Day last Saturday, people of all ages tried their hand at speedminton, a modified version of traditional badminton.
While beach volleyball (above) was one of the many attractions at the inaugural Sports Hub Community Play Day last Saturday, people of all ages tried their hand at speedminton, a modified version of traditional badminton.ST PHOTO: MARCUS TAN
While beach volleyball was one of the many attractions at the inaugural Sports Hub Community Play Day last Saturday, people of all ages tried their hand at speedminton (above), a modified version of traditional badminton.
While beach volleyball was one of the many attractions at the inaugural Sports Hub Community Play Day last Saturday, people of all ages tried their hand at speedminton (above), a modified version of traditional badminton.ST PHOTO: MARCUS TAN

Beach volleyball and a new game called speedminton are rarely offered as activities in Singapore schools.

So imagine the delight of Anson Tan, 10, and his sister Lecia, 8, when they were allowed to try their hand at such novel sports and games at the inaugural Sports Hub Community Play Day last Saturday.

Explaining why she took them to the event, their mother Sia Geok Peng, a 40-year-old housewife, said: "In school, maybe the most they have are PE lessons and CCA.

"I want them to get to know and get their hands on different sports. It's an introduction to new sports that they have never played before, to see whether they are interested in them or not. Who knows? They can discover their potential and interest."

Their father, Sean Tan, is a former middle-distance and cross-country runner who ran for his schools, Westlake Primary, Braddell-Westlake Secondary, both now closed, at the Schools National track and field championships held at the old National Stadium in the 1990s.

Now 42, he hopes his children will get a taste of what he experienced when they visit Kallang.

Declaring that "sports is in our blood", Tan takes his children to Lower Peirce Reservoir every Sunday to cycle while he runs.

Anson, a Primary 5 pupil at Catholic High School, is in the school choir. Lecia, a Primary 2 pupil at CHIJ St Nicholas Girls Primary, has already swum at the OCBC Aquatic Centre. She took part in the Singapore National Age Group Swimming Championships in March.

Tan, who set up a firm providing sanitary solutions, said: "I always tell them that when I come to the National Stadium, I suddenly feel energised because I remember that I ran a lot of races here."

The one-day event drew an estimated total of 8,000 people to the 35-hectare Kallang facility to enjoy a fun-filled day of activities.

The spread of activities impressed Cindy Choong, 44, whose son Marc, a Primary 4 pupil at St Stephen's Primary, went for an hour-long basketball lesson, along with long jump and tennis tryouts.

The accountant said: "You don't really get a lot of chances to have one proper basketball lesson by a coach for free. Today gave him a flavour of sports."

Sports Hub chief executive officer Manu Sawhney was pleased with the turnout and the sight of families bringing their children to the event.

He said: "I'm happy with the level of interest and participation we've seen. It's wonderful to see lot of families coming to enjoy the activities.

"It's not just about building a world-class facility, but we hope to create a bond between us and the community."

Alvin Chia

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 13, 2016, with the headline 'Feast of activities a bonanza for families'. Print Edition | Subscribe