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SSI APG Camp brings SEA Games athletes and Para athletes together

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The ASEAN Para Games (APG) Camp, which was organised by the Singapore Sports Institute over the last weekend, helped prepare Team Singapore athletes for the upcoming APG and provided a bonding opportunity for Team Singapore athletes and para athletes.

General view of the athletes at the ASEAN Para Games Camp.General view of the athletes at the ASEAN Para Games Camp. Photo: Sport Singapore   

By using the theme “My Story, Our Legacy”, the camp’s objectives were to give the athletes greater clarity and purpose, to hone their aspirations and achievements as part of “Team Singapore’s Legacy”, and to build a sense of camaraderie amongst the Team Singapore contingent.

Deputy Director of Singapore Sports Institute Peggy Tng said: “The main thing is to bring our athletes together as one Team Singapore and to help the athletes spend some time to really clarify their stories for APG and how that story can inspire Singaporeans.”

Debutant APG athletes joined APG veterans and members of the Team Singapore SEA Games 2015 contingent in activities developed with three principles in mind: “Bonding as Team Singapore”, “Reflecting as Team Singapore” and “Joining as Team Singapore”.

Para swimmer Yip Pin Xiu said putting her aspirations on paper has helped her realise what her goals are and what she wants to leave behind. She especially enjoyed bonding with other athletes during the camp.

“It was really nice to interact with other athletes and to get to know them better,” she said.

High performance sailor and Asian Games gold medallist Savannah Siew found the camp an enriching experience as it gave her the opportunity to interact with the para athletes.

“As an able-bodied athlete, we seldom get a chance to interact with them (para athletes) even when we’re from the same sport,” she said. “It was really nice to hear about the similar experiences that we face.”

With the high performance athletes and para athletes interacting in close proximity over two whole days, there was no lack of heart-warming moments during the camp.

“It’s really heartening to see our championship bowler Shayna pushing Teresa, our paralympic swimmer, down the hallway together as a team,” Chief of Sports Development at Singapore Sports Institute Robert Gambardella said.

“To me, when I see those types of things happening, we’re on to something good.”

Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu and CEO of Sport Singapore Lim Teck Yin also went down to the camp to show their support for the para athletes and joined them in putting together a Team Singapore art collage.

Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu at the ASEAN Para Games Camp.Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu at the ASEAN Para Games Camp. Photo: Sport Singapore

Minister Fu emphasised that the APG was more than just a competition. It was also “a way to kick start a whole movement about disability sport”.

The Minister also said she is “always inspired by the human spirit that I see”, and she promised to be cheering on the Team Singapore athletes loudly during the Games.

“You will hear this crazy woman screaming around the background, that’s probably me,” she said.

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