Be sporting, join Sports Hub in 'giving back'

The Singapore Sports Hub is usually associated with physical activities good for your heart, but for the next five weeks there will be events to nourish the soul as well.

Its Season of Giving, from Nov 27 to Jan 1, promises visitors a "meaningful experience" during the festive year-end period, with a slew of activities ahead angled towards charity and philanthropy.

For example, the 15 Shorts film screening at the Sports Hub Library from Dec 15 to 23 will feature a series of short films depicting true stories of Singaporeans from the 1970s-1990s, to inspire giving and volunteerism.

Among them is Sean Ng's Shelter, about a family forced to live in a tent at East Coast Park, and their struggle to get back on their feet.

Sports Hub marketing director Lilian Lye has watched Shelter, and it tugged at her heartstrings. "Watching this was really emotional, and it highlighted the fact that there are people who struggle without things we take for granted, like a home - even in a country like ours," she said. "It was ... heartwarming to see how normal Singaporeans can be so selfless."

The Sports Hub's quarterly Community Play Day on Dec 1 and 2 will feature several other events organised in tandem with five partners - Make-A-Wish Foundation, Care Community Services Society, Singapore Red Cross Society, The Salvation Army and Fashion for a Social Cause - to raise funds for their respective causes.

Its first-ever Christmas light-up will feature neon ChariTrees along its waterfront - with each tree available for adoption by the public - along with a 5m tree right outside the Stadium MRT station.

There will be workshops, fitness workouts, bazaars, and two charity runs, all conducted in and around the hub. A special fashion show has also been lined up.

Fashion for a Social Cause is the brainchild of Ms Eileen Yap. "Traditionally, fashion and special needs don't go together, but we're taking a more inclusive approach. We have more than 70 models, and about 50 per cent are special-needs models. From designers, to those who sew, and even dance, we embrace all," said Ms Yap who will put together an "Inclusive Model Hunt" that will see 37 finalists compete for honours on Dec 1.

In addition to elements organised in collaboration with the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre's Giving Week Movement - a national movement that encourages everyone to give back - Season of Giving will also feature a Christmas stocking contest, a mailbox that will send letters to Santa, with the jolly man in red also scheduled to make appearances. "The Sports Hub will be fun, but with a worthwhile cause," said Ms Lye.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 25, 2018, with the headline 'Be sporting, join Sports Hub in 'giving back''. Print Edition | Subscribe