Having all of the para athletes here in Singapore in less than two months, Mr Lim Teck Yin, Chairman of Singapore ASEAN Para Games Organising Committee (SAPGOC) Executive Committee shared some key insights to address the misperceptions surrounding the transport operations concept for the 8th ASEAN Para Games.
Speaking at a press briefing, Mr Lim highlighted that the transport plan provides options for all athletes and officials to travel either by shuttle busses or by the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) trains.
Mr Lim also reiterated that the plan to use the MRT was intended so as to bring the athletes and Games closer to the people.
“Let’s bring the athletes out. Let’s bring them closer to the people,” said Mr Lim. “Giving people the opportunity to just look at them and say all the best and well done. See the athletes come through the station and people cheering and clapping for them. These are our athletes.”
Mr Lim also clarified that this option of using the MRT was only possible because all athletes will be staying at the Games Village at the Marina Bay Sands and it would provide easy access to competition venues to the Sports Hub, which is just three stops away. Team Nila volunteers will be stationed at the Stadium MRT to accompany the athletes to ensure that they get to where they would like to be.
Other than taking the trains, SAPGOC will also be providing shuttle bus services and an internal Kallang Sports Hub shuttle service for the athletes which will also be wheelchair accessible for the convenience of the athletes, which was not made known in news reports earlier this week.
“If for whatever reasons we need to adjust, we will adjust,” said Mr Lim when asked about the possibility of train delays. Contingency plan for road closures and transport problems has been thought through with careful considerations. "I hope the public understands that we are not treating para athletes as second-class citizens,” said Mr Lim.
“There is no need to feel disappointed,” said Mr Lim when asked if he will feel disappointed if the athletes choose not to take the MRT. “I will only be disappointed if Singaporeans don’t come and watch the 8th ASEAN Para Games and cheer on our athletes.”