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Weekly flippa ball sessions breathe renewed vigour into seniors

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When the day breaks every Thursday morning, most Singaporeans would be about their usual hustle to either head to school or work. But for a bunch of elderly ladies, they are already doing warm-ups in the pool at Toa Payoh Swimming Complex, preparing for an hour of flippa ball fun.

Flippa ball is a modified game of water polo that is suitable for people of all ages and lifeguard Teo Chin Lor, who is affectionately known as “auntie killer” to the elderly ladies, leads the weekly sessions. 


Participants in action during a flippa ball session at Toa Payoh Swimming Complex. Photo: Sport Singapore

The programme originally commenced with only eight participants, but has since grown to a sizeable group of 22, with some even hailing from far off parts of Singapore.

For Bukit Timah resident Grace Phang, taking part in the flippa ball sessions was a no-brainer as it reminded her of the days in her youth.

“It’s very exciting with the elderly people and it’s fun that you come to know a lot of people,” said Phang.

The 70-year-old makes it a point to swim every morning and prefers to have her swimming sessions at Toa Payoh Swimming Complex.

“Except Tuesday, because they (are) closed. Even if they (are) closed, I go to Bishan.”

Often, most of the swimming crowd at the complex would watch in awe as the elderly ladies, who for a short hour, would return to being young children again, playing with uninhibited joy. 


The programme originally commenced with only eight participants, but has since grown to a sizeable group of 22. Photo: Sport Singapore

“The programme was started because we have a group of avid swimmers who swim regularly here at Toa Payoh Swimming Complex,” said Toa Payoh Sports Centre manager Yvonne Tan.

“Initially, they rejected the idea, but after much persuasion, they decided to try out the sport and they really are having a whale of a time in the pool every Thursday morning.”

“It is really heartening to see them enjoy the sport and the friendship.”

For more details on this programme, check out the Toa Payoh Sports Centre Facebook page or call the Pool Office at 6256 7151 /152.