Despite the heat and humidity, tennis enthusiasts arrived at the Kallang Tennis Centre day after day to catch the action on show at the recent ITF Men $15k Futures and ITF Women Circuit $25k tournaments.
When asked why they made the effort to attend these matches, many expressed reasons that had to do with their love for the game.
Tennis fan Jamal Bin Yadi (first from right) watching the game intently. Photo: Sport Singapore
One such fan was 72-year-old Jamal Bin Yadi, a daily fixture at the spectator stand.
“I was introduced to tennis by my dad. I have kept my passion for it till now, and as I grow older, I can enjoy watching tennis (instead of playing it),” shared Jamal, who still plays tennis occasionally with his son and 8-year-old grandson.
“I enjoy watching them play, with all the new techniques. There’s a lot to learn by watching and tennis has improved so much!” he pointed out.
His son, Sharin Jamal, who is a coach at the ActiveSG Tennis Academy, often spends his free time watching tennis as well, and he encourages other Singaporeans to do the same, especially since tournaments held at the Kallang Tennis Centre often do not charge any entry fees and are open to all.
“Over here, you get good quality tennis, and you are literally just face-to-face with the players when you’re walking around. For a coach and an enthusiast like me, that’s great. I love that!” he shared.
Jamal Bin Yadi (first from left) with his grandson, Adam Sharin and his son, Sharin Jamal. Photo: Sport Singapore
Pointing out that such smaller tournaments do not receive as much attention compared to more high-profile events like the WTA Finals, Jamal stressed the significant role that spectators play when it comes to encouraging the players.
“If the public and tennis enthusiasts actually come by and support the sport, that will create more positive vibes and that’s what we need at this stage,” he continued, pointing out that local tennis scene is still trying to establish itself.
“When people come down to watch, that brings up the positivity in you, to see that your skills and hard work are appreciated. We need a little more of that,” the former player noted.
His thoughts were echoed by Sarbine Hauser, a freelance yoga instructor who enjoys watching local and overseas players compete. She said: “It’s really nice [for the players] to have the support, and [it’s important] sometimes if I see a good shot, to clap!”
At these smaller scale tournaments where large crowds are a rare sight, Hauser believes that every supporter is significant to the players.
Sarbine Hauser (second from right), a freelance yoga instructor and tennis fan. Photo: Sport Singapore
“I’ve had some players whom I didn’t know, coming up to me after the match to thank me for the support,” the 55-year-old revealed.
Loo Wei Wei, mother of TeamSG tennis player Charmaine Seah, added: “It’s always good for the players, be it the local or overseas players, to have spectators supporting. It shows that their efforts are recognised.”
While she makes it a point to watch her daughter’s matches as often as she can, Loo understands that not everyone has the time to do the same, so she encourages more Singaporeans to follow news and updates through online platforms.
“Awareness of the events is key. ActiveSG is already doing quite a big part in promoting them, so I think it’s a good way to [stay updated],” she continued.
If you wish to find out when other tournaments will be taking place in Singapore, head over to our myActiveSG Facebook page, or stay tuned to our website for more!