Play Day for the average Joe

Second Sports Hub Play Day will be held at the National Stadium for the first time.

JOSEPHINE LIM

FOOTBALL LUMINARIES the likes of Andrea Pirlo and Neymar brought their signature touch of magic when they graced the pitch of its National Stadium.

But the Singapore Sports Hub is not a venue reserved just for world beaters, nor is it only for darlings of Singapore, like sprinter Shanti Pereira and Khairul Anwar and his Cerebral Palsy football team who captured hearts during the South-east Asia Games and the subsequent Asean Para Games.

No, the Sports Hub was made with equal focus on the average Singaporean, and that will come to the fore again at its second Community Play Day on 17 September.

The Hub’s flagship community programme was first run earlier this year in June with some 8,000 in attendance, and this time, organisers are expecting some 15,000 to come through the turnstiles.

The Hub’s second Community Play Day will be held in the National Stadium for the first time, and it will see a full day of play comprising free sports try-outs, fitness workouts, competitions, and activities for kids. The Sports Hub will attempt to break the Singapore record for the biggest Zumba workout at the National Stadium, while the 1 million-step Fun Stepper Challenge will take place on its stands.

The former National Stadium was the birth place of the Kallang Roar, and the setting for several iconic moments in Singapore’s history, and not just in sports. Boxing legend Muhammad Ali graced its hallowed grounds in 1973, as did Pope John Paul II 13 years later, and who can forget Michael Jackson’s iconic moonwalk across the stage at the National Stadium in 1993?

And now Singapore is presented with an opportunity to make new memories at the modern facility that stands in place of the Grand Old Dame – by playing at the venue themselves.

The Sports Hub has worked with its partners the likes of Sport Singapore, the Football Association of Singapore as well as the Asean Basketball League side, the Singapore Slingers, to bring sports to the community groups like the People’s Association, NTUC U Sports and experience Sports.

But the Community Play Day is not the only time of year the Hub turns its attention to the community, indeed, there are already ongoing community sports programmes in place at the Hub.

Experience Sports fitness sessions are run throughout the week, including kickboxing, Boot Camp, Zumba, Yoga, and Cardio Blast – and they are free. Some, like 33-year-old Samuel Sng, leveraged the activities at the Hub to go from a hefty 135 kilogrammes to 71.2kg.

Samuel is not the only one getting fit at Singapore’s state-of-the-art sports facility that saw some 4,600 take part in its activities in the month of July alone, but the Sports Hub hopes more Singaporeans will make the trip down to Kallang to take advantage of its community initiatives.

The Community Play Day will also see coaching clinics, kampong games, a lifestyle flea market, as well as a football carnival, as the Hub looks to attract families to give sports activities a go, and hopefully something will stick in the minds of children who attend.

“I want them to get to know and get their hands on different sports. It’s an introduction to new sports that they have never played before, to see whether they are interested in them or not. Who knows? They can discover their potential and interest,” Sia Geok Peng told The Straits Times, after attending the Hub’s first Community Play Day with her two children.

And speaking also to The Straits Times, Sports Hub chief executive Manu Sawhney was pleased with the interest shown by families, and he will surely be looking for more of the same this time around.

He said: “I’m happy with the level of interest and participation we’ve seen. It’s wonderful to see lot of families coming to enjoy the activities.

“It’s not just about building a world-class facility, but we hope to create a bond between us and the community.”