Catching the football fever at the Sports Hub

Kong En Foon with her husband Chung Thien Soong and their two sons (from left) Chung Zhen Yang and Chung Zhen Ming, together with a friend of the boys.
Kong En Foon with her husband Chung Thien Soong and their two sons (from left) Chung Zhen Yang and Chung Zhen Ming, together with a friend of the boys.ST PHOTO: KEVIN CHNG PHOTO COURTESY OF KONG EN FOON
The crowd at the Singapore Sports Hub's Festival of Football last night who turned up to watch the live screening of the France v Argentina match at the OCBC Square outside Kallang Wave Mall.
The crowd at the Singapore Sports Hub's Festival of Football last night who turned up to watch the live screening of the France v Argentina match at the OCBC Square outside Kallang Wave Mall.ST PHOTO: KEVIN CHNG PHOTO COURTESY OF KONG EN FOON

She is "not very interested in football", but Venus Tan caught her first game of this World Cup at the Singapore Sports Hub last night and decided she wanted more.

Tan, 23, said: "I came here to accompany my friend, and it's really quite fun. I like to see goals, and there were many goals in this game (France-Argentina). The atmosphere is great, it's even louder than cheering at school camps, football fans can get together, and there's beer too. I will stay to watch the second game (Uruguay-Portugal)."

Added A. Balakumaran, 25, who was also at the free screening at the OCBC Square, which is part of the Hub's June 14-July 30 Festival of Football (FOF): "The screen is huge, the match commentary is turned on, and it's like watching football in a cinema."

Kong En Foon and her family of four chanced upon the FOF activities and World Cup screening last weekend but could not stay for long then.

"It was a very lively atmosphere; there were sofas for everyone to sit down to watch the match, as well as activities for the whole family, such as table soccer," said the 41-year-old accounts executive, whose sons Zhen Ming, 13, and Zhen Yang, 9, are Belgium fans.

"My two sons love football and they play the sport in school. I don't know that much about football, but through these activities I can know more about the sport they love, as well as to interact more with them," said Kong, who vowed to return this weekend.

Similarly, Lim Wee Leong and his two sons have enjoyed the FOF activities over the last two weekends.

LIVELY ATMOSPHERE

We really enjoyed the lively atmosphere at the Festival of Football last weekend and we will try to do the activities and win a trip to England.

KONG EN FOON, who, along w ith her family, are entered in the Ultimate Football Family contest, where the top prize includes flights and accommodation for two to watch Arsenal, Atletico Madrid or Paris Saint-Germain play a home game in Europe.

"We couldn't stay for the live screenings, but we took part in the kick-abouts. It was good because I am trying to ignite their appreciation for the game," said the 39-year-old bank officer. "We really enjoyed the bonding time."

Kong and her family are also in for a shout for the Ultimate Football Family contest, where the top prize includes flights and accommodation for two to watch Arsenal, Atletico Madrid or Paris Saint-Germain play a home game in Europe.

They have already fulfilled the basic requirement by purchasing tickets to the upcoming International Champions Cup tournament at the Sports Hub.

In addition, participants would have to take part in the FOF activities - such as the penalty shoot-out challenge and Experience Sports FIT-sessions - and collect stickers to complete the Ultimate Football Family Card. They also have to post "crazy" moments of their families and friends at the FOF on Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #SSHFestivalofFootball.

Kong said: "We really enjoyed the lively atmosphere at the Festival of Football last weekend and we will try to do the activities and win a trip to England."

•Additional reporting by Shamir Osman

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 01, 2018, with the headline 'Catching the football fever at the Sports Hub'. Print Edition | Subscribe