Guest-of-honour, Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean and Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu, pledging their support for the ASEAN Para Games together with the Team Singapore athletes and One Team Singapore Rally participants. Photo: Sport Singapore
With less than 20 days to go before the start of the 8th ASEAN Para Games 2015 (APG), some 8000 para athletes and their friends braved the hot sun to gather at the Marina Promontory in one last outpouring of support for the final national sporting event of the jubilee year.
Participants of the Reindeer Walk-A-Wheelathon gathering at the start line and raring to go. Photo: SAPGOC
The event on Saturday saw snaking queues of people dressed in red, stretching from the front of the Marina Promenade to the Art Science Museum.
The massive turnout left APG Chef de Mission and former commando Raja Singh awestruck at the support for the para athletes.
"I was very overwhelmed by the turnout and that's why the minute I came in here, I felt that this was a national event, not a disability event," Singh said.
"It doesn't separate anything; [it’s] one Team Singapore, and I really felt that deep down."
Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean and Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu witnessed the presentation of cheques from the various sponsors to Dr Teo-Koh Sock Miang, President of Singapore Disability Sports Council.
The sponsors included: CapitaLand Hope Foundation (Bronze Sponsor), Keppel Land Ltd (Bronze Sponsor), JCCI (Gold Sponsor), Woh Hup Pte Ltd (Gold Sponsor) and Deloitte (Platinum Sponsor).
A total of $165,000 was pledged by sponsors.
DPM Teo and Minister Fu then flagged off the SDSC Reindeer Walk-a-Wheelathon to raucous cheers from the crowd and gamely joined the participants showing their solidarity with our para-athletes.
Guest-of-honour, Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean and Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu, flagging off the Reindeer Walk-A-Wheelathon. Photo: SAPGOC
The two kilometre course took them on a round trip from the Marina Promenade to the Marina Promontory and back.
As the group rounded the corner to the Marina Promontory, the ministers joined the para-athletes in a heart shaped formation.
Guests-of-Honour, eam Singapore athletes and participants gathered at the Promontory to form the Heart Shape Formation. Photo: SAPGOC
"We would like to see this as the start of a movement of supporting disability sports,” said Minister Fu.
"That societal attitudes and mind sets can start to change with this Games and we would like to see Singaporeans embracing not just disability sports but an inclusive society in all sense of the word.
“Let us come together as one for Team Singapore in the forthcoming ASEAN Para Games. Through the Games, we hope that more Singaporeans of different abilities will realise their potential, participate in sport and lead active and healthy lives.
“Our athletes have been training very hard, and we need everyone to rally behind them. Your support will make a difference.”
Bird's eye view of the Heart Shape Formation in progress. Photo: SAPGOC
APG Torch Up Ceremony
After participating in the SDSC Reindeer Walk-a-Wheelathon earlier in the day our para-athletes and guests gathered once more at the event plaza in front Marina Bay Sands for the Flame Lighting Ceremony for the 8th ASEAN Para Games 2015.
Welding a colourful sparklers each, Guest of honour, Mr Teo Chee Hean, DPM & Coordinating Minister for National Security, Ms Grace Fu, Minister (MCCY), Mr Baey Yam Keng, Parliamentary Secretary (MCCY), Dr Teo-Koh Sock Miang, Chairman, SNPC & President, SDSC, Mr Raja Singh, Chef de Mission (CDM), Singapore Contingent to the 8th ASEAN Para Games (APG) and Ms Yap Qian Yin (Team Singapore Para Sailor) jointly ignited the APG flame.
(Left to right) Ms Yap Qian Yin (national sailor), Parliamentary Secretary Baey Yam Keng, DPM Teo Chee Hian, Minister Grace Fu, Dr Teo-Koh Sock Mian and Singapore's Chef De Mission Mr Raja Singh jointly lit the APG Flame.
Dr Teo-Koh then addressed the gathered crowd. After Dr Teo-Koh’s speech the dignitaries gathered onstage for the Team Singapore flag presentation. The state flag was handed in turn from Minister Fu to Dr Teo-Koh then to Mr Raja Singh before finally being passed to the Singapore Flag Bearer Ms Yip Pin Xiu (swimming).
Mr Raja Singh (first from right) passes the Singapore flag to Ms Yip Pin Xiu, official flag bearer for Singapore for the 8th ASEAN Para Games. Photo: Sport Singapore
Beaming with pride, Team Singapore athlete Yip Pin Xiu said, “It is a great honour to be the flag bearer for Singapore at the 8th ASEAN Para Games as this is the first time that we are competing at this level on home ground. It is also going to be the first time that most Singaporeans can get to experience a para games. All of us are training hard and we hope to see Singapore get behind us, dressed up in red to support us at the games and beyond.”
Mr Thomas Yong (tenpin bowling), then lead the contingent in reciting the before inviting him to lead the contingent in reciting the Athletes’ Pledge.
Mr Thomas Yong (first from left) leads the Singapore contingent in reciting the Athletes' Pledge. Photo: Sport Singapore
To cap off the evening, all guest of honour, all the VIPs and the gathered Team Singapore contingent stood hand in hand as Singaporeans to sing the National Anthem.
Says CDM Raja Singh, “Our Team Singapore athletes have always been giving us every reason the cheer and smile. Be it at local or international competitions, they have always given their best to put Singapore on the world stage. The 8th ASEAN Para Games in December is no exception. I know many of them are determined to do their best and I look forward to working with them to deliver an inspiring performance that will make Singapore proud.”
We wish our para-athletes all the best in their quest to bring sporting glory to singapore as we stand together with them as one united Singapore #backupAPG2015