National Deaf Games boon for the community

Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran (striped t-shirt) flagging off the karting race, one of the National Deaf Games events, at Kranji yesterday.
Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran (striped t-shirt) flagging off the karting race, one of the National Deaf Games events, at Kranji yesterday. ST PHOTO: KHALID BABA

Delivery man Muhammad Hasbi swopped his car for a race kart yesterday as he drove around the KF1 circuit at Kranji at the fifth edition of the National Deaf Games.

The 33-year-old first picked up karting in Batam where he was on vacation with his family more than 10 years ago, but never had the chance to race competitively.

That was until the introduction of karting at last year's Games.

Apart from enjoying the adrenaline of competing against other racers, Hasbi believes that the Games will encourage similar competitions to be organised for the deaf community.

He said: "This is great for the future of the deaf community.

"There are such competitions all over the world, so this is the beginning for karting for the deaf community in Singapore."

Hasbi was among a record turnout of 50 participants at yesterday's event.

The Games continue today with bowling at Singapore Bowling at Rifle Range, where Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information, and Culture, Community and Youth Sim Ann is the guest of honour.

Badminton, futsal and archery are the other sports in this year's Games, which saw close to 200 participants.

Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran, who was the guest of honour at the karting event, feels that such sporting events are important for cultivating a more inclusive society.

"It is a very good platform to first give athletes with hearing impairment the opportunity to participate, and also for the rest of the community to come in and because we want to ensure that all of us are able to come together and support one another," said Mr Iswaran.

"It shows that in Singapore, there are opportunities and we shouldn't let our limitations - whatever our limitations are, because we all have them - hold us back from pursuing our dreams."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 14, 2019, with the headline 'National Deaf Games boon for the community'. Print Edition | Subscribe