Er Jun Wei and his basketball team-mates from Hillgrove Secondary School in Bukit Batok are now in different polytechnics.
That had the 17-year-old lamenting: "All of us have different timetables now so it gets harder to play basketball together."
But thanks to the Singapore Youth Olympic Festival (SYOF), Jun Wei and his friends now have an incentive and a chance to compete as a team again.
The fifth SYOF, which kicked off yesterday, promises to be the biggest yet with the addition of athletics and fencing bringing the number of sports to 11.
The month-long competition, held at various venues, is open to those aged 18 and below. The other sports are badminton, three-on-three basketball, seven-a-side football, rugby sevens, sailing, shooting, table tennis, taekwondo and volleyball.
The SYOF, organised by the Singapore Olympic Foundation (SOF) after the inaugural 2010 Youth Olympic Games here, began in 2011 and featured five sports.
Past SYOF participants include 2014 YOG champion Bernie Chin (sailing), silver medallist Martina Lindsay Veloso (shooting) and 2012 Optimist sailing world champion Yukie Yokoyama.
Last year's edition drew a record 2,300 competitors. SOF chairman and International Olympic Committee member Ng Ser Miang expects it to grow even bigger as more sports are added in the future.
Addressing Anglican High School students at yesterday's opening ceremony, he said: "We are very happy that so many young athletes like you are eager to participate in the SYOF and live and embrace the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect."
The SYOF is a good platform for youth to pursue sport, said guest of honour and Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu. "We want to increase and broaden the channels where young athletes can discover your love for a particular sport, embark on it and fulfil your sporting dreams."
Registration for selected sports - athletics (closing date is June 20), football 7s (June 26) , rugby 7s (June 30) and sailing (July 9) - is still open online at syof.sg. Entry fees vary from sport to sport.