Over the course of two weeks, more than 10,000 people took part in the third edition of Singapore National Games, which marked a series of firsts.
This was the first edition of the Singapore National Games that featured para sports. Photo: Sport Singapore
The biennial Games was inaugurated in 2012 and served to bring sport to local communities and promote active and healthy living. This year’s edition was part of GetActive! Singapore, a week-long sporting movement, and leads up to the Republic’s 51st birthday on 9 August.
Besides the Singapore National Games, GetActive! Singapore also included more than 200 Active Enabler programs and activities, as well as a Children & Families Sports Festival, held at 15 ActiveSG Sports Centres, as well as at the heartlands.
The Games featured several current and former national athletes and included 16 sports.
For the first time in the Games, five para-sport disciplines such as boccia, bowling and table-tennis were included. This inclusion served to build on existing levels of awareness and support garnered during last year’s 8th ASEAN Para Games, and at the same time, make para-sports more accessible to the community.
Indispensable to the smooth running of the SNG, were 1,600 Team NILA volunteers. Hailing from all walks of life and age groups, these individuals stepped forward to help out in the GetActive! Singapore campaign, taking on a variety of roles ranging from organisation to management.
Team NILA volunteers during the floorball competition of the Singapore National Games at Toa Payoh Sports Hall. Photo: Sport Singapore
For Sport Singapore staff Vickneshvary Krishnan, having a role to play in the movement was “good”, as it allowed her to encourage others to be involved in sport and get active.
“This way, we get people to be more conscious of their health and to live better through sports,” said the centre manager at Toa Payoh Sports Centre.
Shahril Hidayat Abdul Samat shared his colleague’s sentiments, and said that being a part of the movement was a “privilege”.
The venue services manager at Bedok Sports Centre said: “To be part of the entire journey and to see the fruits of the labour of all the agencies and everyone involved, I feel very much alive and active as well, and I feel very happy even up to the point where I see my very own family doing activities during the GetActive! Singapore week.”
During the week, members of the public were also entitled to free entry at all Sports Centre facilities such as gyms and swimming pools.
“My children were very excited that there was free entry to the pool for two weekends over the GetActive! Singapore week, so they actually went down last week and they had lots of fun at the Bukit Batok Swimming Complex,” said Shahril.
The 35-year-old added that the free entry encouraged his family members to spend more time at the facilities, and highlighted that this could be beneficial for family bonding.
Singapore Management University’s associate dean of students Dr. Bervyn Lee also applauded the movement, highlighting that “Singapore needs to be more active than we really are,” and this is a good step in the right direction.
Poon Yee Jia of Serangoon Junior College competes in the women's 200m dash during the athletics competition of the Singapore National Games at Choa Chu Kang Stadium. Photo: Sport Singapore
“And I don’t just mean physically active, I mean it’s a way in which Singaporeans can be engaged with each other and to be engaged with what the country is actually doing,” said Dr. Lee.
“While this is a sports event and we’re active in a very, very physical way, but I hope it also engages our minds and our social side of ourselves, so that we really get active with each other and I think that’s more important.”