Singapore

Race for babies, talks at festival celebrating families

It was a race filled with a number of unwilling participants.

Some refused to start, others started crying midway and one attempted a U-turn.

It was a photo finish too, with the crowd snapping away as the bemused participants, aged between six months and a year, received hugs and kisses from their parents.

More than 500 babies took part in a 3m race, called the Diaper Dash at Safra Punggol last weekend as part of a festival celebrating families.

The "My Family Fiesta - Making Singapore a Great Place for Families" also included talks on early childhood nutrition and parent-child communication.

The event, which attracted 12,000 visitors, was organised by Safra Punggol and HeyBaby, a community movement to celebrate and support marriage and parenthood.

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, Senior Minister of State for Education Janil Puthucheary and Member of Parliament Sun Xueling, who are all MPs for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC, attended the event yesterday.

Mr Teo, who flagged off one of the Diaper Dash races, said he was glad to see the good turnout at the event and added that the Government would continue its efforts to make Singapore a great place for families.

He also called on the "wider community - family, friends, employers and co-workers" - to support families and "to make marriage and parenthood achievable, enjoyable and celebrated".

Reiterating what was announced during last month's National Day Rally, Dr Janil said an additional 40,000 pre-school places will be created and 35 more Ministry of Education kindergartens set up in the next five years. 
- THE STRAITS TIMES

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