A SEA Games carnival for all
One of Singapore's water polo greats issued a warning for the hosts ahead of this year's South-east Asia (SEA) Games.
Most expect the Singapore water polo men and women to win gold on home soil.
A victory for the men would mean a stunning 26th gold medal on the trot, an unbroken sequence since the sport's first appearance at the Games in 1965.
But Tan Eng Bock, 78, captain of that first SEA Games water polo winning team, said yesterday: "I advise them to never be complacent.
"Never underrate any opponent, always give respect, be committed, and give the best for your country."
The sports legend was speaking at a preview of the SEA Games carnival yesterday at the Sports Hub.
The carnival will take place daily from today until the end of the Games on June 16. Admission and activities are free to the public.
The Singapore Southeast Asian Games Organising Committee (Singsoc) hopes that as the June school holidays begin, the carnival will see 20,000 to 30,000 visitors daily.
"There is something for everyone to enjoy," said Lee Huei Chern, Singsoc's head of community engagement and merchandising.
"The carnival can be part of a competition outing and everyone can spend the whole day at the Sports Hub."
Extending from OCBC Square (outside the Kallang Wave Mall) to the Kallang Theatre, the carnival is aimed at getting the community involved in the SEA Games.
Activities include sports for the family to enjoy, such as modified versions of table tennis and bowling. There will also be hot air balloon rides, laser tag and a "walk-on-water" activity that organisers say is new to Singapore.
Singaporean Bambos Pelakani, who was at the preview carnival with his wife and daughter, said: "It gets us behind Team Singapore, and gets us excited about sports."
The public can also expect performances on weekends from local artistes like Daphne Khoo, Tabitha Nauser and The Sam Willows.
Art installations that light up at night can also be seen around the square.
One of which is an acrylic panel installation called Circle of Inspiration, by independent artist Erwin Lao. Sketches on the panels pay tribute to 16 sports pioneers, including brothers Tan Eng Chai and Tan Eng Bock.
Their younger brother, Tan Eng Liang, is one of two chef-de missions for Singapore at this SEA Games.
*For more information on the 28th SEA Games Torch Up Programme, please visit https://torchup.tly.sg
CARNIVAL AT A GLANCE
Hot air balloon rides begin tomorrow, but will have limited time slots by registration.
Laser tag allows participants to enjoy a shoot-out in teams of up to a maximum of five players.
Walk-on-water features a six-metre long pool about 40cm deep that you can try to run across without sinking.
Colourful inflatables include a 10m tall slide. Parents can accompany their children down the slide.
Rocky Mountain is an inflatable "mountain climbing" structure for children aged between four and nine. Suitable for the young and the young at heart, Flying Dunk challenges participants to dunk a basketball while bouncing on a bungee.
Pool Soccer is an upsized pool table where participants kick the cue ball, instead of using pool cues.
300 Degrees Table Tennis allows up to eight players trying their hand at a dizzying game of ping pong.
In a game of Zorb Bowling, participants become a human bowling ball with the aim of knocking down pins.
If you think you can strike a putt, try doing it with a hockey stick at Hockey Golf.
- THRINA THAM