Pesta Sukan returns for bicentennial celebrations

Grace Fu, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth putting during a sports day yesterday at Decathlon Singapore Lab in Kallang. She was the guest of honour as GetActive! Singapore announced the return of the Pesta Sukan this year from Aug 1-10.
Grace Fu, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth putting during a sports day yesterday at Decathlon Singapore Lab in Kallang. She was the guest of honour as GetActive! Singapore announced the return of the Pesta Sukan this year from Aug 1-10.ST PHOTO: JOSEPH CHUA

It is a blast from the past as GetActive! Singapore brings back Pesta Sukan to celebrate Singapore's bicentennial and the Republic's sporting heritage this year.

Pesta Sukan, or sports festival in Malay, was first introduced here in 1964, and featured events like mass jogging, cycling and dragonboat. It was used to strengthen goodwill and camaraderie between countrymen amid friendly competition.

This year's Pesta Sukan will replace the competitions at GetActive! Singapore from Aug 1-10, and features 21 sports including aquatics, boccia and football.

Non-competitive mass events such as a round-island bike adventure and a stadium run will also be offered during the festival, and registration will open in May.

GetActive! Singapore will also reprise the theme of care and giving as it looks to Singaporeans to continue organising inclusive activities and raise funds through sport.

It aims to achieve 500,000 acts of care - in the form of volunteerism or donations, for example - in the lead-up to and during GetActive! Singapore.

Grace Fu, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, was guest of honour as she took part in a sports day with partners Decathlon, RSVP Singapore, and We Wanted to be Footballers Pte Ltd yesterday at Decathlon Singapore Lab in Kallang.

She said: "This bicentennial year, we are reminded of how Singapore's sporting heritage reflects our nation's determination to achieve big goals despite the odds, and how the community rallied together to support one another's sporting dreams.

"This year, we reprise the spirit of care and encouragement for one another through the many activities organised under the GetActive! Singapore movement."

Also, Decathlon Singapore will organise a 7km community race during GetActive! Singapore.

It will donate 0.5 per cent of its sales made through Active Wallet, an e-payment function on the ActiveSG app, in all their six stores here to the One Team Singapore Fund.

Launched in 2017, the fund gives Singaporeans and corporates the chance to directly aid national athletes' development, with the Government pledging to match donations of up to $50 million, till 2022.

Decathlon Singapore managing director Nils Swolkien said: "Since Decathlon arrived in Singapore in 2013, our aim has been to promote sport...

"Being part of GetActive! Singapore is a logical consequence of the vision we share with Sport Singapore."

Minister Fu added: "It's great to see this new partnership between Decathlon and SportSG.

"I hope more companies will be a part of GetActive! Singapore and work with Sport Singapore to promote active lifestyles and support our athletes."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 20, 2019, with the headline 'Pesta Sukan returns for bicentennial celebrations'. Print Edition | Subscribe