Roadshows to give Games a lift

Roadshows to give Games a lift
From left: Theresa Goh (swimming), Jeralyn Tan (boccia), Lim Teck Yin, chairman of the Sapgoc executive committee, Neo Kah Whye (boccia), Eugene Soh (table tennis) and William Tan (athletics). Singapore will field a record 145-strong team in the Asean Para Games.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

The terms goalball and powerlifting may sound foreign to the average sports fan. But these are two of the 15 sports set to take place at the Dec 3-9 ASEAN Para Games.

Held in Singapore for the first time, the event will see the Republic host some 3,000 athletes and officials from 11 countries.

In an attempt to raise public awareness of these para sports ahead of the biennial meet, the Singapore ASEAN Para Games Organising Committee (Sapgoc) said it will be organising roadshows and invitationals to drive up excitement in the community.

Tickets to all events will also be free, as was the case in the previous seven editions.

Sport Singapore chief and chairman of the Sapgoc executive committee Lim Teck Yin said: "What we want is for people to know (about para sports), to come and try and say, 'This is something I want to be part of'.

"We want them to see it's actually quite fun to play these sports, and that it requires a high degree of skill. I'm sure they'll enjoy it, find it interesting, and be inspired."

Among the public events lined up are a roadshow at the Chua Chu Kang Sports Centre next month while a powerlifting invitational will be held in October.

Lim, who was speaking at a media briefing yesterday, added that Sapgoc hopes to reach out to about 300,000 people through the various roadshows.

The ASEAN Para Games will see competitors vie for honours at 10 venues islandwide, with tenpin bowling held at the new Temasek Club bowling centre.

Jeralyn Tan, who is representing Singapore in boccia, said: "I'm really excited about competing in front of the home crowd. "I hope to win a medal as this is the first time my family and friends can see me compete."

Tan is part of a record 145-strong Team Singapore but the number could still rise once appeals for inclusion are settled.

The previous high was 59 at the 2008 Games.

Lim, a former national water polo player, said he hopes hosting the meet will lead to greater awareness and participation in para sports in Singapore.

Asked whether Singapore could field a similar number of para athletes in the future, he said: "I am very confident. This is the leaping-off point.

"Using sports as a development tool for self-confidence, self-esteem, sense of independence and capacity to work. This is something we want to push as a legacy of these ASEAN Para Games."

This article was first published on August 22, 2015.
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