Asean Para Games 2015

MBS gets ready to welcome athletes

All systems go at Games Village with rooms, transport, medical care and logistics set up

Round-the-clock care is available, with the medical centre staffed by a 50-strong team including doctors, nurses and physiotherapists.
Round-the-clock care is available, with the medical centre staffed by a 50-strong team including doctors, nurses and physiotherapists.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

The first wave of Asean Para Games athletes will check into the Games Village at Marina Bay Sands (MBS) tomorrow, and organisers believe they can deliver a five-star experience.

Speaking after a media tour of the venue, mayor of the Games Village Rostam Umar said: "We're now seeing all the parts come together. There'll be some minor tweaks here and there, but we'll be 100 per cent ready for the Games.

"The message we're trying to send across is, (for the) APG's (Games Village), we want it to be as good, if not better than the SEA Games."

The resort will host 3,000 athletes and officials in 1,300 rooms for the duration of the Dec 3-9 Games. Of these rooms, 390 are fitted with shower heads with an extendable hose to make them user-friendly for the disabled.

Some rooms also have sliding doors for toilets and closets, and handlebars and fitted ledges in the showers to aid the athletes.

Among the concerns was how the venue would cope with a large number of para-athletes, many of whom will be on wheelchairs.

But Rostam, who is also the Singapore Asean Para Games Organising Committee chief of manpower and games engagement, said: "We cannot underestimate the challenges posed... (but) we've done our planning, and we're comfortable that we have our grounds covered."

On possible bottlenecks forming at lifts, especially when wheelchair-using athletes are making their way from the hotel to the Convention Centre, which houses the dining hall and transport bay, he said: "We have plans in place for people to move both underground and on the road.

"We can also manage by moving people in batches so we don't clog up specific points."

Besides lodging, guests can also enjoy the hotel's facilities, such as the gym, business centre, and swimming pool. This includes MBS' famed rooftop Infinity Pool.

Round-the-clock medical care is also available, with level two of Tower Three converted into a medical centre that has equipment like blood pressure monitors, defibrillators and blood testing equipment.

The centre will be manned by a 50-strong medical team including doctors, nurses and physiotherapists.

MBS is the venue for four of the Games' 15 sports - powerlifting, goalball, five-a-side football and sailing. For athletes competing in other venues, 90 buses and vans have been chartered to ferry them.

More than 400 volunteers will be stationed at MBS to help the athletes, although they will also gather inputs from athletes and officials.

Said Rostam: "We've got many ears and eyes on the ground so we will be on the lookout for feedback... and make adjustments accordingly."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 29, 2015, with the headline 'MBS GETS READY TO WELCOME ATHLETES'. Subscribe