Day two of the Singapore National Games (SNG) kicked off with the tennis competition, drawing a healthy number of local and foreign participants.
A foreign competitor, Kerry Friend, in action during the Singapore National Games. Photo: Sport Singapore
Held in the evenings to accommodate the working crowd, the competition was split into the Singapore Tennis Association (STA) Intermediate Singles and Doubles III and the Prince Pesta Sukan Open/Masters & Classics Championships.
This is the first time that tennis is being included in the Games and competition manager Gilbert Ng could not be happier, saying that this is “very good” for the sport.
“More people are playing, especially players who used to represent Singapore. They have not been playing competitions and they feel the festival mood, so they are all here to play so this is fantastic,” he said.
With ActiveSG sponsoring additional dough to the existing prize pool, players were more motivated to participate, Ng said.
Former national tennis players Choo Wei Pin and Denise Seow were also on the ground. Both last teamed up to play together competitively in the mixed doubles category at the Southeast Asian Games in 1993.
For Choo, who is now a senior executive at a tech company, it has been more than 20 years since he last played in a competitive match.
“I just want to have fun. And it’s nice to see friends that I haven’t seen in a long time. And obviously the competitive juices, to get them going again is always fun as well,” said Choo.
Choo, whose children are also picking up the sport, highlighted that the healthy level of participation was a “good sign that there is a strong interest in tennis” and is hopeful that the reception will improve.
“I’m interested in tennis not just as a participant, but as a parent as well. I want a strong tennis fraternity.”
The competition also drew participation from several foreign friends, including Filipino Derrick Santos, who registered to compete in four events.
Derrick Santos in action during the Singapore National Games. Photo: Sport Singapore
“I enjoy tennis and the Singapore Tennis Association has allowed us (people who work) to play in the tournaments because they schedule it after work.”
The 45-year-old banker also made comparisons to other competitions, pointing out that the Games were “more organised”, citing better amenities and the increase in prize money.
Derrick Santos (right) and his doubles partner, Micaela Lai, celebrate a point. Photo: Sport Singapore
Santos added: “They’re really helping the players to be encouraged to play more, and there’s even quality players and I think you’ll find more interesting matches.”
Catch your fellow Singaporeans competing in over
, at the Singapore National Games 2016 from now till 7 August!