TeamSG athletes highlight “sport for all” message at Tote Board celebration
14 February 2018
By Nicolette Mok
Representing the sporting community at Tote Board’s 30th anniversary celebration, our TeamSG athletes shared the benefits that sport could bring to all.
It was an outdoor carnival at the scenic Gardens by the Bay, a celebration of Tote Board’s 30th anniversary, but “A Good Day Out” was also an event with a focus on enriching lives and promoting inclusivity. With beneficiaries, members of the general public, and guest of honour Emeritus Senior Minister (ESM) Goh Chok Tong in attendance, the carnival featured an exciting line-up for all, including sport try-outs, live performances, and a charity marketplace by various social enterprises.
On the day, Tote Board also announced an update to its fund-raising programme, which will see the grant-making organisation set aside $50 million and double its fund-raising contributions per project for a year, in order to better support Singaporeans from all walks of life.
L to R: Zhi Wei, Suhairi, Xiang Tian and Timonthy
With the integral role that sport has played in Singapore society, it was apt that the sporting community was represented at the event by our very own TeamSG athletes, namely Timothy Loh (Judo), Tan Xiang Tian (Wushu), Suhairi Suhani (Long Jump) and Wong Zhi Wei (Swimmer).
Taking the beneficiaries and public through the carnival’s booths, Timothy and Xiang Tian demonstrated the range of activities available at Gardens by the Bay that morning. As athletes themselves, they felt that they had the responsibility to promote active lifestyles.
“We should be at the forefront of promoting sports and a healthy lifestyle. We are sportsmen ourselves, and it should definitely start with us,” expressed Timothy.
Xiang Tian added: “We lead by example. We’re able to showcase and promote sports which, ultimately, bring about better lives for us all.”
This was certainly the case for senior citizen Lathifa Carrim, who had attended the carnival with her family. Having tried out boccia under the guidance of Timothy and Xiang Tian, the 85-year-old was in high spirits, exclaiming that it was over all too quickly.
Her daughter, Herlina, shared: “It’s a great opportunity for her [Lathifa] to get out and try a sporty activity, especially since she’s at home all the time.”
Lathifa Carrim and her family
Besides boccia, there was also a host of other sport tryouts at the carnival, such as wheelchair basketball and football 5-a-side. The inclusivity, according to Timothy, was “heartening, for age and other factors should not limit people from doing sports”.
Paralympian Suhairi and multiple Asian Youth Para Games medallist Zhi Wei, being beneficiaries of the Tote Board and members of the Singapore Disability Sports Council, were also keen to use their journeys and achievements as testaments to the good that sport could do for one’s lives.
“It’s important for us to ensure that other people appreciate the spirit of an active lifestyle. I hope that today’s event will help them to see the benefits that sport can bring us. It’s good that we get to spread public awareness, sharing with the public how people of different ages and abilities can take part in sports too,” Zhi Wei remarked.
L to R: Mr Kevin Wong (President of SNPC and SDSC), Suhairi, Zhiwei, ESM Goh Chok Tong and Mr Moses Lee (Tote Board Chairman)
ESM Goh certainly agreed, pointing out in his speech: “We’re now focused on identifying needs, teaching useful skills, and maximising abilities rather than just looking compassionately at disabilities. Focus on the abilities, rather than disabilities!”
As our TeamSG athletes continue to inspire the community with the values of sport and importance of inclusivity, keep watching our Facebook page for the latest updates!