As part of its community outreach programmes, the Singapore ASEAN Para Games Organising Committee (SAPGOC) introduced the Gift-A-NILA initiative, one of several to include and involve Singaporeans in the lead up to the Games, at Bendemeer Secondary School on Tuesday.
Grace Fu, who took over the reins from Lawrence Wong, graced the event in her new capacity as Minister for Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY). She was accompanied by Sim Ann, Senior Minister of State at MCCY, alongside Team Singapore athletes.
(From L-R) Bendemeer Secondary School principal Ling Khoon Chow; Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, Sim Ann; and Team Singapore powerlifter Kalai Vanen pose for a photo with their completed heart-shaped mini cushions. Photo: Sport Singapore
This initiative aims to provide the community with opportunities to contribute to the Games in a small but purposeful way through the sewing and decorating of heart-shaped mini cushions.
These cushions will then be stitched on to NILA plush toys which will be included in the welcome pack for all 3000 participating athletes and officials at the upcoming Games in December.
“It’s a good thing that the school is organising this, and events like this give us an idea about the Games and help us experience what it’s like for the athletes,” said 14-year-old Kottaithambi Harini, who tried her hand out in making the cushion.
Students from Bendemeer Secondary School sewing the heart-shaped mini cushions. Photo: Sport Singapore
Schoolmate Nur Rafiqah Bte Rafi echoed similar sentiments.
“I was a little bit scared at first because I’m not good at sewing, and while these athletes are less fortunate than me, they don’t look like it at all," she said.
“If they can do something like sewing, I can do it too.”
Bendemeer Secondary School principal Ling Khoon Chow, who made a cushion as well, had nothing but praises for the Gift-A-NILA initiative.
“It’s very meaningful for the students and for myself as well as it brings the community closer to the athletes. This is just a small something that we are very happy to give – a heart, from our heart," the 42-year-old said.
Members of the public who are interested in contributing to this initiative need not fret as they will be able to do so at Marina Square’s central atrium on October 24 and 25.