A colourful sea of light sticks waved to the beat at the National Stadium yesterday as a 53,000-strong, near-capacity crowd cheered on thousands of young performers who showcased their talents.
From freestyle drills and a frisbee game to a dance comprising martial-arts moves, some 4,100 students exuded the confidence of seasoned performers with their crisp and choreographed movements.
The Youth Celebrate! event marked Youth Day as well as the official opening of the Sports Hub.
Earlier in the day, about 500 students created the largest floating Singapore flag by wearing red and white floats in the pool at the OCBC Aquatic Centre.
The same group then created a new Singapore record of 7,505 laps swum in an hour, breaking the previous record of 3,772 laps.
The guest of honour at the event was Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who told the youth that they are Singapore's future.
He said: "Hearing you, feeling you: I know this is a future that is bright; a future that is full of hope."
PM Lee also said the Republic's next 50 years will be down to them.
"Whatever we can do to prepare you, we have done: stable society, homes for everybody, good schools everywhere, jobs for your parents, opportunities ahead.
"Now make the most of what you have, stretch your limits, help one another, work with your fellow citizens as one Singapore team, show the world what Singapore can be."
Although yesterday was officially its opening, the 35ha Sports Hub - which includes an aquatic centre and multi-purpose sports arena - has already hosted various sporting events, including this year's SEA Games and the Barclays Asia Trophy two weeks ago.
Mr Lee marked the occasion by sealing a time capsule containing 50 items symbolic of the Republic's sporting aspirations.
The items included national athlete Shanti Pereira's running shoes, worn when she broke the national women's 200m record for the first time in the heats of the 2013 Southeast Asian Games in Myanmar.
The 18-year-old believes her shoes are a symbol of her hopes for the sporting scene here.
She said: "I really want to see young people into sports now achieve really great things, being able to win gold medals at the SEA Games and pursue their dreams in sports."
This article was first published on July 27, 2015.
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