SINGAPORE: Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Tharman Shanmugaratnam said the government is developing neighbourhood sports facilities across the island, to raise the level of sports involvement among Singaporeans.
He was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the launch of Community Games 2013 in Jurong.
Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong on Friday announced that expenditure on sports infrastructure is set to double, with more facilities being build in the community.
Mohd Adam McIlroy, who is from New Zealand, has been living in Singapore for only four months.
Within that short span of time, the 18—year—old has made many new friends and even signed up for this year’s Community Games.
Adam said: "I just feel that I should be a part of the community. I’ve come from a country where there’re not so many community games, there are school games. So, I was thrilled to know that you can get involved in community based games and to help the community and help to play around with the rest of the locals. So, it’s been a very good experience for me so far."
The Community Games was introduced last year to enhance social cohesion and community bonding through sports.
Three new sports have been added to the Games this year — dragon boat, swimming, and road relay, making it a total of 10 sports.
So far, more than 400 teams have registered their participation in four games, and that includes basketball.
The teams comprise 3,400 residents of different ages and races. The People’s Association has set a target of 11,000 participants for this year’s Community Games.
Registration is still open for some sporting events.
DPM Tharman said he hopes that with more facilities within the neighbourhood, those not so serious about sports, will also be motivated to get involved.
"It’s a great way for people to have fun in the community. You look at the people taking part in basketball. Of course, they are quite serious. They practice very often, they are really good at it. There are many other sports where people are taking part, who haven’t been in the sport that long, but because of community games, they are getting involved. Some are middle age people who feel it’s a great way to have family activity. Of course, youngsters take to sports very easily, but basically it’s about involvement."
The Games will go on till end of June.
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