Speech By Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister And Minister For Finance And Member Of Parliament For Jurong GRC At The Official Opening Of The Rink At JCube

12 Aug 2012

My fellow Advisors in Jurong GRC and Yuhua SMC: Ms Grace Fu, Mdm Halimah Yacob, Mr Ang Wei Neng, Mr Desmond Lee, Mr David Ong

Mr Vikram Nair and Mr Alex Yam, members of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Community Development, Youth and Sports

Mr Richard Seow, Chairman, Singapore Sports Council

Mr Liew Mun Leong, President and Chief Executive Officer, CapitaLand Group

Grassroots leaders

Residents of Jurong and Yuhua

Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls

1 It gives me great pleasure to be here at the official opening of The Rink at JCube. We in Greater Jurong have been looking forward to this wonderful new sports facility. Given the hot and humid days we have recently been having, today's event is also welcome in other ways!

2 This ice rink is an excellent example of how we are bringing sporting spaces closer to where people live and work. Some 350,000 people live in the greater catchment area of Jurong and some 6,000 companies are operating their businesses around here as well. Some 300 people work in the JCube mall alone. In fact, in the next decade, Jurong is primed to become the largest commercial hub outside the Central Business District. (Jurong Lake District will see the construction of a new integrated development comprising a seven-storey lifestyle mall and a 20-storey office tower. Completing the transformation will be hotels, retail and entertainment centres, and food and beverage outlets.)

3 In the next 10 years, Jurong Lake Park will see the creation of more trails and spaces for the public to get closer to nature. It will be part of the Round Island Route, a seamless green corridor that will encircle Singapore, providing an avenue for cyclists, inline skaters, brisk walkers, jogger and runners.

4 In the busy lives we lead, sport fills an important need for people who are looking to stay fit, and have enjoyable time with family and friends. We live better through sports.

5 Indeed, many companies are discovering the benefits of sports, and are encouraging employees to play together. Not only do staff pick up leadership and other skills that help them at work, they forge great team spirit.

6 Let me take a moment also to commend the parents who have signed their children up for lessons at The Rink. Like with many other sports, I'm sure their children will learn valuable life skills - like team-playing skills, the discipline of practicing so as to develop expertise, the ability to take falls and pick oneself up, and to take victory with grace and humility.

7 We saw these values in action last month when we successfully hosted our second Jurong Lake Run. A record 15,000 people took part, more than double the participants in our inaugural race in 2011. It is a fine example of how sport can be fun, and can build community spirit.

8 Jurong already has two Sports and Recreation Centres - the Jurong East SRC and the Jurong West SRC. The Rink at JCube brings something quite different, for children, youth and adults.

9 It's a convenient place. While families are planning a trip to the rink for some fun on ice, they can also do their grocery shopping and dine at the mall. Those working around the area can also have a quick skate during lunch time or enjoy a longer session on ice after work to unwind and relax.

10 Everyone can participate. The Learn-to-Skate programme provides an opportunity for newcomers to learn foundational skills in ice skating. There are also ice hockey leagues and disco-themed sessions which add fun and colour to the ice skating experience for the community.

11 I'm glad to see that more than 80,000 members of the community have already visited the rink to date, and that all existing Learn-to-Skate classes fully sold out. It is also encouraging to see more than 250 participants taking part in the first ice hockey league held at this rink, with the majority of being are working adults. This rink has successfully reached out to the community and I hope that it will continue to do so in future.

12 I would like to thank the Singapore Sports Council and CapitaMalls Asia for collaborating to make this project possible and bring it to fruition. They have been proactive in engaging our grassroots leaders and residents to ensure that this rink reaches out to the community and caters to their needs.

13 Finally, I encourage all of you to try the skating programmes available here. You'll have some fun, get fitter and very likely learn something about yourself and your community. Enjoy it with family, friends and neighbours.

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