Sandwiches, briyani and burpees: Singapore athletes help out during circuit breaker period

Tampines Rovers defender Madhu Mohana was part of a food giveaway for essential workers. PHOTO: COURTESY OF IBRAHIM CHE MAD

SINGAPORE - Circuit breaker restrictions have not deterred local athletes from giving back to the community, with food giveaways and a fund-raiser among the activities they have been involved in.

On Saturday (May 9) evening, national footballer Yasir Hanapi and local coach Syed Azmir partnered sandwich franchise Subway to deliver food to underprivileged children in a local children's home to break fast with.

The two also held an online question-and-answer session with the children and demonstrated simple football drills the kids could do at the home.

"It was an engaging session with the kids and I'm glad that Subway Singapore invited me and Azmir to share our personal experiences with them," said Tampines Rovers midfielder Yasir, 30.

"I hope that by sharing some of the life skills I've learnt through football, they would have a better understanding of how they can achieve their own goals in life."

Azmir, 35, a former youth national player who now coaches at a private academy, said: "I was happy to share my personal journey both as a singer and a footballer in the hope of inspiring these kids to have the courage to pursue their dreams, and not to give up no matter what obstacles they may face."

Goalkeeper Izwan Mahbud, who plays for Thai outfit Trat, Tampines Rovers defender Madhu Mohana and Lion City Sailors midfielder Aqhari Abdullah were part of a food giveaway organised by Ibrahim Che Mad, who founded Flair Football Academy early this year.

Ibrahim, 32, raised about $1,000 to buy, pack and hand out 400 packets of briyani to essential workers such as delivery riders and drivers at the Primz Bizhub in Woodlands on Friday evening.

He said: "Earlier during Ramadan, I had also done a few initiatives like donating prayer mats to foreign workers quarantined at the Singapore Expo and those treated in Tan Tock Seng Hospital.

"Izwan, who is my junior (in the Tampines youth team), saw this and told me he also wanted to give back during this trying time. That's how we came up with the briyani drive, and many others stepped forward to help raise awareness or volunteer."

National pencak silat athletes Sheik Farhan, Sheik Ferdous and Nurul Suhaila have been busy raising funds for The Sayang Sayang Fund.

Started by the Community Foundation of Singapore, it provides support for healthcare workers, seniors and low-income families who are impacted by the Covid-19, and has raised over $900,000.

Farhan, Ferdous and Suhaila, all world champions in their sport, encouraged people to upload a Instagram story or post of themselves doing 10 burpees, with the hashtag #BurpeesForSayangSayang.

The trio pledged to donate $5 to the Sayang Sayang Fund for every video uploaded, up to $3,000, and have raised over half that amount, including contributions from donors.

"As athletes, we know how hard it is to stay active during the circuit breaker period, so we wanted to come up with a way to encourage people to be active," said Farhan, 22.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.