Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean (second from left) greeting Team Singapore athletes in Pasir Ris-Punggol at the launch of the Paint the Town Red movement. photo: SINGSOC
Team Singapore needs you.
And the Singapore Southeast Asian Games Organising Committee (SINGSOC) has spared no effort in ensuring that all Singaporeans recognise the significant role that they can play at this year’s SEA Games.
Targeted specifically at garnering support for Team Singapore athletes, the “Paint the Town Red” campaign will slowly but steadily see the implementation of eye-catching enhancements made to the landscape of Singapore's heartlands.
With flats, vehicles, and even lampposts decked out in the nation’s colours, “Paint the Town Red” is an initiative that hopes to rally the support of the everyday Singaporean. Indeed, as SINGSOC’s Head of Community Engagement and Merchandising Lee Huei Chern put it: “All of us are one Team Singapore. Every Singaporean should get behind our athletes because we win and lose as one.”
The athletes themselves have been participating in grassroots activities over the past few months to gain more support from fellow citizens as well. The dressing up of estates was officially kicked off at the Pasir Ris-Punggol area, during which several Team Singapore athletes, including Pasir Ris dweller and Team Singapore sprinter Calvin Kang, were in attendance.
“A campaign like this really helps [us relate better to the] community and the residents because a lot of them may have heard of us or may have seen us in the newspapers but are unable to fully connect with us,” Kang stated.
Taxis, buses and trains will be adorned with designs and banners that feature the Team Singapore brand, urging Singaporeans to wear their national colours in support of the athletes come the 28th SEA Games in June. photo: SINGSOC
Residents witnessed the unveiling of a giant billboard bearing the names and faces of the national representatives living in the district, and got a look at the first of the “dressed up” Housing Development Board (HDB) flats. Red flags printed with messages of support for the nation – in four languages, naturally – hung outside every unit and on each level, bringing a striking sense of vibrancy to the unassuming estate.
In addition, taxis, buses, trains, and lampposts will, too, be adorned with designs and banners that feature the Team Singapore brand, further bringing the Games to the heartlands.
Commenting that these endeavours gave “additional meaning to the SEA Games”, Pasir Ris West’s SG 50 Projects Committee organising chairman Ong Chee Keong quipped: “As residents and grassroots leaders of Pasir Ris West, we are all getting behind Team Singapore and we really hope that our athletes will do very well and do all Singaporeans very proud.”
“I think it feels great because, with the atmosphere around our neighbourhood, the Games is spreading to all around Singapore,” concurred former national football star Lionel Lewis, who is also a Punggol resident.
“[When I was a national athlete], we always had the stadium in red to support us. Home support is very important to an athlete. Based on my experience, [playing] to a stadium full of locals, our own Singaporeans, would always spur me on to perform even better,” he continued.
In a bid to further bridge the gap between our national sports stars and the people, “Paint the Town Red” also encompasses the “Our sporting hero, my neighbour” campaign. Over the next month, publicity images of athletes across the 36 SEA Games sports will pepper public areas around each of their own residential locations and various sporting venues, introducing Team Singapore to the people. Photographed at local spots that bear unique significance to each athlete, these posters also come along with blurbs describing what their respective neighbourhoods mean to them.
Residential areas decked out in red flags in a show of support for Team Singapore for the 28th SEA Games. photo: SINGSOC
“I think that it will be really great for all Singaporeans to get excited about the SEA Games, particularly when you know that, among your friends and neighbours in the community, we have athletes who are taking part,” expressed Deputy Prime Minister and Pasir Ris-Punggol Member of Parliament Teo Chee Hean.
Beyond the estates, SINGSOC will also dedicate large-scale “dress-up” efforts to iconic buildings in the city. In the lead-up to the start of the SEA Games in June, Singaporeans can look forward to dynamic designs and endearing Nila cut-outs embellishing our architectural infrastructure.