A key moment in Singapore's history, as Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (5th from left) seals Sports Time Capsule to signal the official opening of our Singapore Sports Hub. Photo: MOE
A set of used track shoes, an arrow, and an old pair of sunglasses may not seem to have much in common, but they do share one important bond: these items were at the heart of Singapore’s various national sporting milestones.
These well-loved pieces of memorabilia joined seven others in the ceremonial sealing of the nation’s Sports Time Capsule on Sunday evening. The capsule will, by the time of its official closing later this year, contain 50 items that have seen the nation through its most memorable sporting moments. It will then be kept shut for the next 25 years.
Led by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, a total of nine individuals placed 10 items into the capsule during a segment at Youth Celebrate!, a large-scale Youth Day event meant to showcase the dynamism and talents of Singapore’s students, organised as part of the country’s jubilee festivities.
The celebration, which featured 4,100 young performers and athletes, also marked the finale of the Singapore Sports Hub’s two-month Opening Season, and the Prime Minister was on hand to declare the state-of-the-art compound open.
Calling on the students present to “show the world what Singapore can be”, Lee said: “You are Singapore’s future. Hearing you, feeling you, I know that this is a future that is bright. A future that is full of hope. Go for it!”
Indeed, while the Sports Time Capsule was aimed at commemorating past achievements, or “special moments and special memories”, as Lee explained, it was also a fitting tribute that set the tone for a greater and brighter sporting future for the nation.
The 50 items chosen embodied one of three categories: elite sports achievements, sports within the community, and opportunities for all Singaporeans.
National athletes Shanti Pereira, Jovin Tan, and Muhammad Nur Alfian Juma’en donated mementoes from their historic sporting feats, while SportCares beneficiary and current Singapore Sports School student Mohamed Zulkhairi Putera contributed a signed item on behalf of his contemporaries.
“I have donated my sunglasses, a very significant item to a sailor. This pair was used during the London Paralympic Games in 2012,” remarked 28-year-old Team Singapore para sailor Jovin.
“I’m very honoured to be a part of this. It is a very special moment. In 25 years, hopefully, I will still be sailing and inspiring youths, especially disabled youths. In 25 years, when the time capsule is opened again, I hope that more people will understand para sports, and that there will be more para athletes. I hope that Singaporeans will also show their support for para sports, beginning with the ASEAN Para Games taking place in Singapore in December this year.”
Zulkhairi, too, felt excited to be singled out as a source of inspiration to the youths gathered that night. Placing a ball signed by players from the SportCares’ Saturday Night Lights football programme, the budding sprint star enthused: “I hope that showing my potential and my talent will motivate future generations to realise that they can achieve great things too.”
The Prime Minister, Minister for Education Heng Swee Keat, Minister for Culture, Community, and Youth Lawrence Wong, nine-year-old 28th SEA Games volunteer Jesy Chea, and record-breaking age-group swimming star Zachary Ian Tan also participated in the time capsule ceremony.
A total of $400,000 has been raised for ComChest by students and ex-national footballers in Goal-for-a-Cause at Youth Celebrate! Photo: MOE
The Youth Celebrate! event witnessed several other displays of talent, such as Goal for a Cause, a charity football match that saw 50 primary school players pitting their skills against 11 former national representatives including legends Lim Tong Hai, Lionel Lewis, and Fandi Ahmad.
Other performances – set against a backdrop of the National Stadium’s signature flying props, lighting system and pyrotechnics – included an exciting freestyle drill by the uniformed groups and, of course, traditional music and dance showcases.
For more information on the Sports Time Capsule, do stay tuned as we release in-depth information on each of the 50 items!