Public can experience para sports at inaugural Inclusive Sports Festival at Our Tampines Hub

Our Tampines Hub will be the venue for the inaugural Inclusive Sports Festival, featuring more than 10 sports tryouts including wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby, boccia and curling.
Our Tampines Hub will be the venue for the inaugural Inclusive Sports Festival, featuring more than 10 sports tryouts including wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby, boccia and curling.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
Madam Ang Sawing (in grey) Merchandiser, trying out basketball on a wheelchair, at Our Tampines Hub Community Auditorium on July 29, 2017.
Madam Ang Sawing (in grey) Merchandiser, trying out basketball on a wheelchair, at Our Tampines Hub Community Auditorium on July 29, 2017.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
Rodney Wong (centre) trying out bowling at at Our Tampines Hub Community Auditorium on July 29, 2017.
Rodney Wong (centre) trying out bowling at at Our Tampines Hub Community Auditorium on July 29, 2017.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
Mr Tan Whee Boon, (centre) playing wheelchair rugby at Our Tampines Hub Community Auditorium on July 29, 2017.
Mr Tan Whee Boon, (centre) playing wheelchair rugby at Our Tampines Hub Community Auditorium on July 29, 2017.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - Chess player Edwin Tan will make his second Asean Para Games appearance in September at Kuala Lumpur, but not many people would know that the 23-year-old runs more than he plays chess.

Tan, who is blind and recognises people mainly based on hearing, runs thrice every week - on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday - with Runninghour.

Runninghour is an inclusive group which involves able-bodied runners running alongside people with disabilities.

Tan has been hooked onto running since he first joined them in September 2012.

So on Saturday (July 29) at the inaugural Inclusive Sports Festival held at Our Tampines Hub, Tan was part of the Runninghour group who took participants through a short blindfolded running experience.

Tan said: "People can experience the challenges that we go through, while it is not that difficult and fun too.

"I think many people are still having the wrong perception of the blind. Just because they are holding a walking aid, it doesn't mean they are totally handicapped.

"The club is like a big family to me and I hope more people can join us to be part of this community."

The two-day festival features more than 10 sports tryouts including wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby, boccia and curling. It is open to the public.

One person who enjoyed himself trying out all the sports is Betrand Koh, an 11-year-old Lighthouse School pupil who was born deaf.

His mother, Fitri Handayani, 35, said: "He takes up swimming classes, but today, he can try out more sports."

Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu encouraged more people to take up sports. After interacting with participants at the event, she said: "You see communities beginning to embrace sports, more parents bringing their children.

"They see the benefits of sports, not just in building physical wellness, but also in encouraging (them) to reach out and be sociable and emotionally strong as well."