The APG flame burnt brightly at the Sports Hub. It was subsequently brought into the Singapore Indoor Stadium by participating athletes to light the Games cauldron. Photo: Leandro Ngo/SAPGOC
In a significant event which marked the start of the 8th ASEAN Para Games (APG), more than 1,000 volunteers and representatives from various community groups participated in the APG Torch Parade. The flame was delivered from the Marina Bay Sands Event Plaza to the Singapore Sports Hub by way of a scenic route that passed landmarks such as Gardens by the Bay, Marina Barrage and Tanjong Rhu.
Prior to the commencement of the torch parade, the youngest Team NILA member Deshann Cayden Ooi and his family transferred the flame from its safety lantern onto the first torch for Mr Royce Seah, a board member on the Association for Persons with Special Needs (APSN), who was given the honour of being the opening torch bearer of the parade.
Deshann Cayden Ooi (fourth from left) helps to transfer the flame from the safety lantern to the first torch bearer Mr Royce Seah, board member of APSN (out of picture). Photo: SAPGOC
“It’s a real privilege for us, as it allows us to bond as a family and also do our part for society. Volunteering at the Para Games is a once in a lifetime experience,” said Deshann’s mother Lim Swee Hoon Hoonie.
Royce concurred: “I feel very excited and proud to be a Singaporean and part of this, as we are hosting this event for the first time.”
Other organisations that have pledged their support for the 8th APG were also represented in the Torch Parade. These representatives include MediaCorp artiste Desmond Tan, who received the flame just prior to the Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay, and carried it to the next torch bearer Danny Loke, Senior Manager of Touch Community Services.
Torch bearer Desmond Tan (in red) represented Mediacorp as a community partner in backing the 8th ASEAN Para Games in the Torch Parade. Photo: SAPGOC
The APG flame made its way past the Marina Barrage and Singapore’s iconic Flyer, courtesy of Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) volunteer leader Terence Khoo and Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS) assistant training manager Mohammed Bin Saibi respectively, with a large horde of volunteers cheering the parade on.
Erfan, a student from the Metta School then received the torch outside of water sports center PAssion WaVe @ Marina Bay and bore it till Tanjong Rhu, where Football Thai Factory Sporting Goods (FBT) sales manager Olivia Wong awaited. She carried the torch through to the Tanjong Rhu park connector, before handing the flame to the final torch bearer Philip Yuen, Chief Executive Officer of Deloitte.
Community partners exchange flames en route to the Sports Hub during the Torch Parade. Photo: SAPGOC
Concluding the Torch Parade was Abdul Hayei, a volunteer from the SportsCares Programme ‘Saturday Night Lights’, who delivered the flame to the torch pedestal set up atop the Water Sports Centre at the Sports Hub.
“By conducting this Torch Parade, it brought Singaporeans together and raised the awareness of the 8th APG,” Abdul enthused.
Abdul Hayei, a volunteer from the Saturday Night Lights programme, leads the "wefie" with Team NILA volunteers at the pedestal which carried the APG Flame prior to the APG Opening Ceremony. Photo: Leandro Ngo/SAPGOC
Later in the evening, Team Singapore para swimmer Benson Tan was given the honour of carrying the APG flame into the Singapore Indoor Stadium for the opening ceremony, where an athlete torch relay involving powerlifter Kalai Vanen, shooter Aishah Samad, swimmer Toh Wei Soong, badminton player Tay Wei Ming, contingent flag bearer Yip Pin Xiu, and nine-year old boccia player Aloysius Gan culminated in the lighting of the 8th ASEAN Para Games cauldron to declare the regional meet a go.