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Preparations in full swing for Singapore National Games


SINGAPORE: Sports is moving into the heartlands in a big way to help build community ties, when the Singapore National Games kick off in September.

Preparations are in full swing, with more than 1,000 teams expected to take part in 10 games.

On April 7, Speaker of Parliament Michael Palmer and his team of MPs from Pasir Ris-Punggol played a five-a-side game against the women's football team.

"The girls are very good. They almost put us to shame. Thank you very much to our goalkeeper, Michael Palmer," said Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean.

The match ended goal-less, but organisers hope to score in community bonding.

"It is something we internalise and build up over a period of time. If we have events like this - community sports games - you get to know a few more people, you get to understand what they are like, you build up a stronger network... Then, over a period of time, people get to know each other better," said Mr Teo.

And that's what the Singapore National Games, organised by the People's Association and Singapore Sports Council, aims to achieve.

Teams of residents from public and private estates, and from various races and ages, will be taking part.

"Initially, many people thought it would be quite difficult to pool teams together. But it is indeed wonderful to see residents start calling their friends and neighbours to form (teams)," said Mr Yam Ah Mee, chief executive director of the People's Association.

Mr Yam will be playing basketball for the Seniors game in the Games, which will be held in the first week of September.
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