Football: Geylang International give back to the community ahead of Hari Raya Haji

Head of Pertapis Halfway House Sufian Salim (left) and Geylang International Chairman Thomas Gay. PHOTO: GEYLANG INTERNATIONAL

SINGAPORE - Geylang International may not be having a successful time on the pitch this season, but they are making the right moves off it.

Ahead of the Hari Raya Haji celebrations this week, the Singapore Premier League (SPL) side, together with its partner Springleaf Prata Place, treated residents at the Pertapis Halfway House to meals of mutton nasi briyani on Monday (July 19).

The Eagles - who sit sixth in the eight-team league with eight losses in 11 games - embarked on the initiative as part of the club's community outreach programme with the centre that focuses on rehabilitation of drug offenders.

It encourages the spirit of giving back to society with charitable acts as well as adopting lifestyle changes through sports.

In recent years, the club has engaged in several community outreach programmes with Pertapis. Last May, Geylang and Pertapis joined hands to distribute Hari Raya goodies to about 50 beneficiaries in Singapore. In February this year, the club raised $20,000 as part of its efforts to give back to the community with South East CDC as its primary beneficiary.

Geylang International chairman Thomas Gay, who joined the festive meal, lauded the efforts of Springleaf Prata Place and warm reception given by Pertapis Halfway House. He said: "Thank you to Pertapis for hosting us as today as we continue our outreach efforts for the betterment of our community.

"We are delighted to have a partner in Springleaf Prata Place who shares the same vision as the club in engaging the community not only on the football pitch but also outside with these charity initiatives."

Midfielder Firdaus Kasman, who was also present at the event, said: "As footballers, we must be an example to the community by showing kindness. I'm glad to be part of this programme to bring joy to those who need it. I'm happy to be given the opportunity to do my part for the wider community and look forward to more of such initiatives."

Sufian Salim, head of Pertapis Halfway House, was touched by the gesture shown by Springleaf Prata Place and Geylang International on the eve of Hari Raya Haji. He is looking forward to more of such meaningful initiatives.

"We are very touched by such charitable acts shown specially during these challenging times. Hari Raya Haji is also about showing compassion, sharing wealth and remembering blessings. We are happy to have received that today," said Sufian.

Geylang will resume action in the SPL on Sunday (July 25) when they face Balestier Khalsa.

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