SINGAPORE - Orchard Road was turned into a sea of red on Saturday as Singaporeans turned up to in support of athletes who will be participating in the upcoming Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games).
Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, Mr Lawrence Wong led the cheer for national athletes, who will compete against over 5,000 of the region's best athletes in 36 sports come June 5-16.
Minister Wong said at the event that everyone is a member of One Team Singapore and that national pride is at stake as our athletes compete on home soil. "In 90 days, we will host the SEA Games - the region's most iconic sporting event. The spotlight will be on Singapore, so let us all come together as a nation, as One Team Singapore, to give our Team Singapore athletes the boost to reach their best," he said.
EXCO Chairman of Singapore Southeast Asian Games Organising Committee (SINGSOC), Mr Lim Teck Yin said reminded all Singaporeans to be good hosts during the event. He said: "We are the hosts and we should make all our guests - athletes, officials and friends from the Southeast Asian community feel welcomed."
"As we cheer for our athletes, remember to encourage other athletes too. After all, we are all friends from the Southeast Asian community," he added.
Saturday's Pedestrian Night at Orchard Road saw the hoisting of the largest ever Team Singapore flag measuring 10 by 7 metres after it was passed along Orchard Road by thousands of athletes, volunteers and members of the public.
This was also the first time the SEA Games Arch was lit up at the Scotts. It will remain there till June 20.
Members of the public were given the chance to experience sports such as football, rugby, basketball and badminton at the event.
Team Singapore rhythmic gymnast Tong Kah Mun said that it was heart-warming to see Singaporeans cheer her on during her demonstration. "I really feel that such an enthusiastic home ground support will make a significant difference in my performance come June at the SEA Games," she said.
Team Singapore Rugby 7s Captain Daniel Chow also said:"Our team is at the last phase of training for SEA Games and today's event is a timely intervention to remind us that the nation is behind us."
As part of the 28th SEA Games Torch UP! Programme, a series of 30 Torch Up! Art Installations will also be launched in phases from March 7.
These installations are conceptualised by local artists and put together with the help of community groups. Another 20 event-based activities will complement these art installations to make up 50 ground-up Torch Up! projects for the SEA Games.
One of the 3 art installations unveiled today was "Reaching High", a collaboration by renowned sculptor Mr Sun Yu-li and the Nanyang Technological University (NTU).
Also new was the SEA Games' first ever Google+ Hangout, which allowed viewers to interact with Team Singapore athletes past and present, and experience highlights of the event live as they were broadcasted live around the region.
To engage the regional community, NILA's Quest, a web-based digital game specially created for the 28th SEA Games was also launched during the event.
The digital game will also provide players a chance to win one of 15 weekly prize draws. The grand prize will see a winning pair from each country fly to Singapore to enjoy the SEA Games in Singapore.