Over 500,000 Singaporeans Celebrate National Day Through GetActive! Singapore
07 Aug 2016
With the Singapore National Games (SNG) 2016, Sports Festival and Active Enabler programme initiatives taking place throughout the 9-day sporting bash under the umbrella of GetActive! Singapore, more than half a million members of the community have taken part in the slew of activities designed to get all pumped up for National Day through sport.
Joining the finale event for GetActive! Singapore today at Jurong East field, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu said, “Over the past nine days, more than 500,000 people joined us for GetActive! I’m so happy to see so many Singaporeans embrace sports, because we believe in sport! Sport has the magical ability to make us happy and physically fit, as a community, as a nation. We believe sports has the ability to bring the whole nation together”.
“Whether a novice or serious sportsperson, regardless of race or language, GetActive! gave everyone the chance to play and learn about sports. I’d like to thank everyone for getting involved”.
Enabling the community through sports
GetActive! Singapore successfully ran ground-up initiatives under the Active Enabler programme and Sport Festivals islandwide engaging more than 450,000 people and over 70 schools.
Mr Lim Teck Yin, Chief Executive Officer, Sport Singapore, said, “The whole idea of GetActive! Singapore was to rally Singaporeans to come and play and to celebrate national day together through sports. Half a million people responded to the call, which exceeded the target that we thought would be achievable.
At the Singapore National Games, the teams came in very competitive, tenacious and they wanted to win. In the mass participation events, I saw kids just coming in at the Bay to make use of the facilities with their families - so everything caught my heart.”
From Zumba Gold for seniors to Athletics for preschoolers, we had over 200 events organised by people from the community for various target groups. Some interesting events that gave a refreshing spin to sports include “Singapore Active Gaming” that got people working up a sweat with motion‐capable gaming consoles, to “SGAG Football Trollnament”, where teams played football with a twist, and the “ActiveSG National Day Playstreets” which converts the street into a giant sporting playground.
Everyone’s part of Singapore’s social fabric
Sport has a powerful way of enabling inclusiveness. GetActive! Singapore continued the legacy of the 8th ASEAN Para Games with events like “Everybody Plays Ping Pong” that promotes inclusiveness by giving members of the public a chance to play against para paddlers to achieve 51 man-playing hours of table tennis, the “Singapore Giant Games Festival 2016”, a first ever sports carnival suitable for people with all abilities, and “A special day of sports” – an event organized at Pathlight School by parents with autistic children for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The event was conducted in an Autism-Friendly environment that will not overload the child’s senses.
Says Ms Esther Lim, a parent organizer of “A Special Day of Sports”, “We came across a news article on the GetActive! Singapore initiative and thought it was a good idea to organize something for kids with special needs – especially those who come from low income families, as sport activities and courses are not affordable for them. While this is a one off event, we definitely hope to be able to do this again in the future.”
Beyond engaging persons with disabilities, local youths and international friends were able to get into the spirit of National Day with an inaugural social integration event at Tuas View Dormitory. Entitled “Game On”, the event was supported by SportCares Foundation and brought together 500 local and foreign participants. Adopting an Amazing Race style format and based on three core themes of sport skills, culture and heritage and National Day, participants were teamed up in groups of four, comprising tertiary students and SportCares youth and were required to share their knowledge and expertise and work together to complete up to 30 group based games, trivia and challenges.
Higher level of competition at the Singapore National Games 2016
The third edition of Singapore National Games was beyond more sports, more people and the addition of para sports. The level of competition was higher too.
Mr Yap Wee Teck, 47, who took part in the masters category for Badminton said, “SNG is a fantastic platform where people over the age of 45 years can still compete at the national level. I am looking forward to the next edition and will keep fit by staying active to compete again.”
Overall, there was a 70:30 ratio of men to women participating in the SNG this year, a slight increase of female participation from the previous SNG in 2014. There was also an increase of the average number of events each registrant participates in, from 1.05 in 2014 to 1.28 in 2016. Floorball proved most popular amongst the under 18’s and women, whilst basketball came out tops for the 18 to 34 and 35 to 54 age groups, and men overall. For the 55 and over category, bowling saw the highest participation, followed by athletics.
Adds Team Singapore archer Tan Si Lie who took part with his former NTU teammates and current club members representing Sib Jum Archery Club, “The SNG to me is a fun-filled competition where you see many friends with the same passion coming together and in celebration of our national day. It’s a friendly competition as I have friends who supported my team and I at the SEA Games and now, we are competing alongside on the same shooting line. It is a good opportunity for all athletes, able bodied and para athletes to come together at the shooting line and compete with each other.”
Singaporeans took overwhelming steps for Singapore
Singaporeans shattered the modest target of 51 million steps by recording over 235 million steps in nine days under the Active Challenge campaign which was rolled out to challenge Singaporeans to take 51 million steps in celebration of Singapore’s 51st birthday.
Gathering 18.8 million steps residents of West zone emerged as leaders of the scoreboard, closely trailed by residents of the Central zone, who amassed 18.3 million steps. The ActiveHealth tracker board documents the daily cumulative number of steps based on the five different geographical zones – North, Central, East, Northeast and West. It also provides the total number of steps on daily basis and the average total caloric burn based on these numbers.
Beyond National Day, it is hoped that all Singaporeans will continue to stay active and to keep to challenging themselves and others in the community through the ActiveHealth tracker.
For more information and to get the latest daily numbers, visit: https://www.myactivesg.com/activehealth
Staying active beyond getting active
Closing off the action-packed week at GetActive! Singapore’s final event, more 18,000 people gathered at one of the heartlands of Singapore, the Jurong East field next to the MRT, for a birthday bash fitness work-out led by ActiveSG instructors.
Ms Tracy Tan, 32, Programme Executive, who was at GetActive! @ Heartlands (Jurong) with her mother, husband and two daughters aged 3 years old and 15 months to join in the festivities said, "We were shopping around saw that there's a Getactive! Singapore event happening. This is a very good initiative, as it helps us to keep ourselves healthy and age actively.
It also brought the family closer, as it's been awhile since we've played a game together. It is very important to have such activities in order to have a healthy lifestyle. We've also been given 100 ActiveSG credits and I've been bringing my kids to the swimming complex, and some other things we can use the credit for."
Ms Dipna Lim Prasad, 25, National hurdler, who coached kids at the Athletics tryout said, “This is really great because we are teaching fundamental movement skills here that are not just important to track but the building block for any other exercise. It’s good to see so many kids having a blast, making new friends and even competing against their parents. The turnout has been great, and it’s good to see people trying out all the different sports.”
Added Mr Lim Teck Yin, “What we found this year was that people had a lot of fun and great ideas. That's what we are looking for - people's ideas of how they can get together, and we hope to do this every year because Singaporeans want to come out to play.”