Sport week to be part of annual National Day bash

Ms Fu (second from left), FedEx Express Singapore's managing director Khoo Seng Thiam (centre) and SportSG's chief of strategic development and marketing group Toh Boon Yi (extreme right) at a morning workout with SportSG employees and FedEx Express
Ms Fu (second from left), FedEx Express Singapore's managing director Khoo Seng Thiam (centre) and SportSG's chief of strategic development and marketing group Toh Boon Yi (extreme right) at a morning workout with SportSG employees and FedEx Express Singapore staff at the firm's World Service Centre in Changi.PHOTO: MATTHIAS HO FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

With elements of competition, fun and play, it aims to strengthen S'pore bond through sport

In a bid to foster a stronger Singapore spirit and promote active lifestyles, all while riding the uniting force of the nation's birthday celebrations, the week before National Day will now be dedicated to sport.

The annual series of activities will stage its first edition from July 30 to Aug 7. GetActive! Singapore will incorporate the elements of nationwide "Competition", "Fun" for the community, and ground-up initiatives to encourage "Play" for an expected 300,000 people.

Competition will be in the form of the third Singapore National Games (SNG), expanded this year to include para-sports for the first time. There will also be four more sports than the last edition in 2014.

Sport festivals for children and families will be held across 15 centres islandwide over two weekends. People with disabilities will be included in the fun.

Sport Singapore (SportSG), in unveiling details yesterday, also urged the public and corporate organisations to be Active Enablers by playing a part in co-creating activities that tie in with the theme of sport and celebration.

  • Activities galore

  • Singapore National Games 

    When: July 30-Aug 7 

    What: 16 sports for the able-bodied; five para-sports for people with disabilities. 

    Register from June 3 at any ActiveSG sports centre or www.myactivesg.com/getactivesingapore 

    Children and Families Sports Festivals 

    When: July 30-31, Aug 6-7 

    What: Activities for children to develop movement skills and activities to promote family bonding. 

    Active Enabler Programme 

    What: Community and corporate partners to co-create activities. Interested applicants have until June 30 to submit proposals.

    For more information, visit www.getactive.sg

SportSG will disburse grants funding up to 90 per cent of costs - up to $25,000 for projects and $50,000 for mass events - to successful applicants. Expertise in the form of coaches, officials and even venue space can also be offered.

There are already 10 Active Enablers on board, most of them corporate organisations such as FedEx Express Singapore, ComfortDelGro and Gardens by the Bay.

Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu, who helped launch the scheme yesterday after a workout with FedEx Express staff in Changi, hopes the activities will be driven from the ground up.

"Sport is a tremendous way of bringing people across all walks of life together. We'd like to think that it's not limited to government-organised events. We want to see corporates, schools, old schoolmates... communities, neighbourhoods... coming together," she said.

"Whether you're a novice or at the elite level, you'll have different ways to get into some sporting activities," she added, picking out the SNG archery competition held on the Marina Bay floating platform as a personal favourite.

The idea for GetActive! Singapore was largely the aftereffect of last year's home SEA Games and Asean Para Games, which enjoyed record crowds. It is also part of the next step in Vision 2030, the blueprint launched in 2011 to chart the course of Singapore sport.

Both its timing and objective were deliberate, SportSG chief executive officer Lim Teck Yin said.

"We wanted to continue to advance the idea that One Team Singapore works together... and there were a lot of suggestions for events that could rally everyone," he added.

"You come to the conclusion that the only thing as significant (in a non-major Games setting) is National Day."

The hope for the initiative in the long run is that its unique platform for celebration will lead to a stronger Singapore bond.

Mr Lim said: "Through sport, we will build a healthy and resilient society."

Ms Fu said: "Ultimately we'd like to see it culminating as one event where Singaporeans will come together, celebrate National Day in a physical and happy way... through sport, bond as a people and celebrate Singapore's achievements."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 11, 2016, with the headline 'Sport week to be part of annual National Day bash'. Print Edition | Subscribe