Singapore, 1 September 2012 - About 12,000 people comprising residents, athletes and volunteers from all walks of life were part of the inaugural Singapore National Games (SNG) 2012 Opening Ceremony at Punggol Waterway this evening, jointly organised by the People's Association (PA) and Singapore Sports Council (SSC). The event brought residents of different races, ages and backgrounds from all over Singapore to celebrate the opening of the first-ever SNG together, demonstrating the 'We are One' Singapore Spirit at the same time.
2. Prime Minister (PM) Lee Hsien Loong declared the SNG open after witnessing the passing of the SNG Baton among six Baton bearers which included Mr Patrick Teo, Community Sports Clubs Council Chairman, Ms Emelyn Tang, 8, Mr Kor Hong Fatt, 80, the youngest and oldest SNG 2012 athletes respectively, and Ms Feng Tianwei, Team Singapore athlete. The Baton had previously travelled through the 87 constituencies during the One Community Walk on 26 August 2012 with about 1,740 residents involved as SNG Baton bearers, signifying the community spirit behind the Games. 10 athletes of different age and race, each representing the 10 sports of the SNG, then took the SNG Pledge.
3. A special ceremonial Sail Past comprising 30 specially decorated Cluster rafts sailed beautifully down the waterway in a riot of colours with their innovative designs. Residents from each Cluster specially designed and built two rafts, one featuring their Cluster identity, and the other a sports theme, to express their love and support for SNG 2012. This activity helped to bring the participants closer. The Cluster with the most creatively designed raft will win a prize. As the rafts gathered together to form a circle on water in the dusk, 100 kayaks gushed in to join them in the formation just as 1,200 big balloon balls were released into the crowd from the bridge. Many excited hands went up to meet the balls as they found their way into the water. A beautiful balloon arch then sprung up across the river marking the finale of the SNG 2012 Opening Ceremony this evening.
4. Earlier in the afternoon, the crowd was also treated to roving Cheer Entertainment by the 15 Clusters in their respective Cluster sports theme attire. Some of the acts included a Bubbles Magician, Ball Juggling, Cheerleading and Balloon Sculpting. These activities further roused the celebratory mood of the residents present. And for many, this was only the beginning of a memorable Games for all. Competitions for SNG 2012 have already started in the morning and more will follow over the next nine days across the island.