Pedal and paddle fun for 1,000

Participants from KK Hospital and their families having a great time trying out dragon boating at the Water Sports Centre Community Day in Kallang.
Participants from KK Hospital and their families having a great time trying out dragon boating at the Water Sports Centre Community Day in Kallang.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
A mother and son among a big group being briefed for their kayak practice.
A mother and son among a big group being briefed for their kayak practice.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
The pair pushing off the pier and getting a hang of the sport.
The pair pushing off the pier and getting a hang of the sport.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

Water Sports Centre Community Day offers dragon boating, kayaking and pedal-boating

Aishah Abdullah's family and friends would typically spend weekends at cafes, shopping malls and karaoke outlets.

But yesterday, the group of 22 comprising five families got sweaty - and a little wet - as they tried their hand at dragon boating, kayaking and pedal-boating.

The occasion? Water Sports Centre Community Day at the Singapore Sports Hub.

Aishah, a 41-year-old secretary at KK Women's and Children's Hospital, said: "Besides drinking coffee and eating, we don't know where else to go or what to do in Singapore. So this weekend, we wanted to do something different to relax in the form of exercise and to expose ourselves to something new.

"We are interested in water sports, but we have not had an opportunity to try out dragon boating.

"In badminton, just a few people can play at one point of time, and in swimming, some might not know how to swim. But (dragon boating) is a fun activity that most of us can do together as a big group. "

They were among some 1,000 participants who turned up at the one-day event. It was organised by the Sports Hub in partnership with ActiveSG, Sport Singapore's national movement, to encourage more Singaporeans to be active in sport.

Through hosting events like this, the Sports Hub hopes to draw more people to join the activities at the 35ha Kallang facility.

Its director of sports and community programming Siva Krishnan said: "This event is water-themed and was created for the community to explore the offerings available at the Water Sports Centre."

Aishah's family and friends appear to be sold on the idea and are now looking to include water sports as a regular activity.

Her son, Adib Amsyar, a Primary 6 pupil at South View Primary School, joked: "We're serious about it. We'll just have to come again.

"I was looking forward to this after my PSLE (Primary School Leaving Examination) ended. It's a good challenge for me, because I need to use a lot of strength to paddle against the current.

"If there's a dragon-boat co-curricular activity in my secondary school next (year), maybe I could join."

The free try-outs also attracted administrative officer Karen Ho, 40, who, after being intrigued by the offerings, signed up for pedal-boating with her nine-year-old daughter.

She said: "These are not your usual activities. Not all CCs (community centres) offer these water-based activities. It's a novel experience."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 10, 2016, with the headline 'Pedal and paddle fun for 1,000'. Print Edition | Subscribe