Proper time and place for spontaneity in sports

There are ample facilities available in almost every HDB precinct for anyone to indulge in his vocal, dancing, riding or sporting pretensions, where it is safe, socially acceptable and even encouraged.
There are ample facilities available in almost every HDB precinct for anyone to indulge in his vocal, dancing, riding or sporting pretensions, where it is safe, socially acceptable and even encouraged. PHOTO: ST FILE

To bring back children's spontaneity in playing sports is an excellent idea, the caveat being that there is always a proper time and place for all things (Bring back children's spontaneity in playing sports, Aug 26).

Demonstrations of human emotions should be encouraged, but only where they are inoffensive and do not intrude upon the sensitivities and rights of others in public spaces such as void decks.

Given the density of HDB dwellings in Singapore, it is easy for minor misunderstandings to erupt into full-fledged confrontations, and the modus vivendi of maintaining harmony is constant respect for one another's comfort zones.

The mayhem in a constrained space caused by a stray skater, a miskick of a ball, a mishit of a puck, or an errant personal mobility device rider is incalculable.

And that was the case in the 1960s and 1970s, when ugly, irresoluble incidents happened regularly, arousing antagonism between parties and leading to the evolution of present rules, which seek to establish peace and safety for communal coexistence.

There are ample facilities available in almost every HDB precinct for anyone to indulge in his vocal, dancing, riding or sporting pretensions, where it is safe, socially acceptable and even encouraged. One does not need to go far to find them.

Allowing the unrestrained kicking of a football at void decks or common spaces is a romantic notion, but one that needs to be disabused.

Yik Keng Yeong (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 02, 2019, with the headline 'Proper time and place for spontaneity in sports'. Print Edition | Subscribe