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Strengthening communal ties through sports

ActiveSG established various sporting clubs and academies in a bid to encourage an active lifestyle among kids, but this also had the serendipitous effect of strengthening interracial bonds within local communities.

There wasn’t an ActiveSG Athletics Club in Bedok at first, but a group of mothers who believed in the importance of sports, reached out to ActiveSG and made it happen.

A group of mothers who believed in the importance of sports reached out to ActiveSG and made ActiveSG Athletics Club in Bedok a reality. Photo: Sport Singapore

The group, which originally started off with 12 kids, has now grown to 30 kids.

One of the parents, Evi Horia, said that her children had come to really enjoy the athletics programme, making many friends with children from different backgrounds.

“They make new friends and the wonderful thing about this is that most of the parents are quite active too,” said the 39-year-old mother of three. “So almost every time my children go, I would go too, so I would meet the other parents.”

“Even outside of athletics club, we do a lot of chatting. So my children get invited to parties and they even want to hang out after the training to play.”

Horia has made new friends with a couple of Indian parents and a Malay parent at the programme, and she is not alone in doing so.

Parents of participants interacting during an ActiveSG Athletics Club session at Bedok Stadium. Photo: Sport Singapore

Rajasekhar Tatavarthi, whose son has been participating in the programme since January this year, has become good friends with some of the parents and continues to keep in touch with them outside the programme.

“During class time, we have a chat with some parents. We do share things in the Whatsapp group we have,” said the 41-year-old father.

“I keep in touch with a couple of them outside class because they live close to our neighbourhood.”

His son was the one who seemed to be most delighted though, looking forward to each session and making new friends of different races at the bi-weekly programme.

“It’s a multiracial group so he’s having fun with them. After the class, he stays 15 or 20 minutes to play with them and make friends with them,” said Tatavarthi.

“Almost everyone is new to him in this class but he’s enjoying time with them beyond the class time.”

This post originally appeared first on myActiveSG.