Written by: Shawn Lim
In the spirit of bringing the community together to celebrate the season of Christmas, the Singapore ASEAN Para Games Organising Committee (SAPGOC) organised a TREErific Christmas sports carnival for members of the disabled community and Team Singapore para-athletes on 30 November.
Graced by Guest of Honour Mr Sam Tan, Minister of State, Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, this event was especially meaningful as it also marked the the one-year countdown to the 8th ASEAN Para Games which will be held in Singapore from 3-9 December 2015.
The fun-filled day saw participants from schools and the public enjoy Singapore’s first Reindeer Walk-a-Wheelathon as well as opportunities to try their hand at disability sports like Shooting, Boccia and Bowling, amidst engaging in some friendly competition with Team Singapore para-athletes.
Members of the public trying their hand at disability sports like Shooting, Boccia and Bowling, amidst engaging in some friendly competition with Team Singapore para-athletes (Photo by Sport Singapore)
The Walk-a-Wheelathon, which was flagged off by Mr Tan, saw participants from schools and public dressed up as reindeers as they made their way along the riverbank of Tanjong Rhu. The event also entered the Singapore Book of Records as the “largest gathering of people wearing reindeer antler headbands”.
Our Team Singapore athletes were heartened and encouraged by the sight of the massive gathering, with all of them pledging to give their all in the Games amid the pressure of playing on home soil.
“I’m glad to see the community and fellow para-athletes coming as one to celebrate this festive season as well as to create awareness for the ASEAN Para Games next year,” shared para-shuttler Tay Wei Ming.
“Preparation for the ASEAN Para Games has been coming along well and from next year onwards, my training intensity will be pushed up. My coaches have been implementing different training programmes, like building our physical fitness and finding new sparring partners for sparring training.
Tay adds further, “Since it is on home ground, there will definitely be pressure. But I can overcome it because I’m gaining experience from various overseas competitions and with the tips that sports psychologists from Sport Singapore taught me.”
The Walk-a-Wheelathon also made it into the Singapore Book of Records for having the largest gathering of people wearing antler headbands (Photo by Sport Singapore)
Agreeing with Tay’s views was his Team Singapore teammate, para-sailor Jovin Tan.
“I think if you have done your homework well, and have trained well, there’s no need to feel stressed because stress is something which happens when you do something you are not prepared for,” the Incheon 2014 Asian Para Games Gold medallist explained.
“With our weekly trainings, hopefully we will master all the skills needed to do well”
Tan is also not resting on his laurels despite winning the Gold medal and feels that he still can make more improvements to his game.
“I started training the week after I came back from Korea, so there was no break and it was back to training and sailing,” explained the 27-year-old.
“There are a couple of areas that I need to make improvements on, but it takes time. No one becomes a champion overnight. I am still learning and I will continue to work hard and train hard.”
Chairman of the Executive Committee, Singapore ASEAN Para Games Organising Committee, Mr Lim Teck Yin was delighted to see how fired up the para-athletes were after the event and he credited the community for coming down to show their support as one of the reasons.
“Today’s event is a coming together for the community and the para-athletes, and I think it really symbolises what the ASEAN Para Games is about,” noted Lim.
“We want to celebrate the extraordinary, these para-athletes are all extraordinary and all have stories of their own right. I was particularly taken by the support that was shown by everybody to the para-athletes.”