It’s Youth Celebrate!


The 26th of July, 2015 will be remembered for many reasons. It was the official opening of the Singapore Sports Hub. It was the scene of two Singapore records and the stage for over 4,000 young performers from schools all over Singapore.  It was also Youth Day – no doubt many young students were delighted with the school holiday the next day. Beyond that, though, it was really a celebration of youth and the future of Singapore. 

Here are 10 things we saw at Youth Celebrate! that’s starting to get us excited about Singapore’s future.


1. Singapore will continue to be full of energy and excitement



If the 53,000 crowd at the National Stadium on Sunday was anything to go by, all that talk of Singapore being an aging country didn’t seem real at all. Everyone seemed to take a break from the “old people” talk of politics and the upcoming election to just be hyped up and happy. There was an infectious energy and enthusiasm as the night rumbled on, and I saw many young kids rushing to get in as many wefies (also know as youthfies during the event) as possible – that’s something that’s changed since my time. The power and vigour of youth, however, has not.


2. We’re full of potential record setters



At the OCBC Aquatic Centre, Singapore set two new Singapore Records: the Largest Floating Singapore Flag, made of about 500 students, and the most number of laps – 7,505 – swum in one hour. It just goes to show what our youths will be able to achieve when we come together.

We’re sure some of these young recordsetters will go on to accomplish even greater things in the future.


3. We might have uncovered the next Fandi Ahmad or Lionel Lewis


Copyright: MOE. Reproduced with permission. 

Copyright: MOE. Reproduced with permission. 


At the “Goal-For- A-Cause”, a 20-minute charity match between 50 young and aspiring soccer players and 11 ex-national players, the up-and-coming young guns were given a chance to show what they could do against some of Singapore’s finest. They didn’t disappoint. The crowd was in on the act too, cheering wildly whenever a goal was scored, whether it was by the national players or the young ones. 

The final score.. 18-11 to Singapore Primary Schools.

The players, young and not-so-old, raised a total of $400,000 for the Singapore Community Chest – all that sweat on the field will go a long way to a good cause. At the Sports Hub, we may just have seen the next Fandi Ahmad or Lionel Lewis in action!


4. Our youth are unabashedly loud and proud


Copyright: MOE. Reproduced with permission. 

The most heartwarming thing I saw at the event was young primary school students proudly hoisting their school flag aloft. Those were some of the proudest and happiest faces I’ve seen all year, and you could tell that there’s no place they’d rather be than right there in the Sports Hub, representing their school and making sure everyone remembered their school’s name. Perhaps one of these young Singaporeans will even be a flag-bearer for Singapore at the Olympics – who knows? We certainly hope so.


5. Remembering our past, even as we look to the future


Sharity Elephant, who always extols the virtues of giving.

The SEA Games may be over, but you shouldn’t forget about me – Nila

I remember lots of characters from my youth. Lyo and Merly, Sharity Elephant, Singa the Courtesy Lion, and even Nila – the little lion from the recent SEA Games. We got to see some of them make special appearances at Youth Celebrate!. It was nostalgic seeing the philanthropic pink elephant again – a heartening reminder of the links between different generations of Singaporeans, and that the important lessons we learn in life are timeless.


6. Young cadets – the future of our uniformed groups



There are several uniformed groups that any Singaporean youth can join in school. These include the National Cadet Corps, National Police Cadet Corps, Red Cross, Scouts, Brownies,  the St John’s Ambulance Brigade and many more. These groups made an appearance at Youth Celebrate!, their discipline and camaraderie showing through their impeccable marching sequences. And it’s not all work and no fun for them – they executed an exuberant freestyle drill sequence to Katy Perry’s Roar and Lady Gaga’s Edge of Glory among other modern pop songs. 

With a good mix of discipline and fun, it wouldn’t be a surprise if many of them went on to become key appointment holders in their secondary or tertiary institutions. 


7. Young dancers conjuring up a storm


Copyright: MOE. Reproduced with permission. 

Copyright: MOE. Reproduced with permission. 

 After many months of hard work and practice, their choreography dazzled the 53,000 strong audience. The young dancers made sure we didn’t go home without their memorable performance – who says Singaporeans don’t know how to dance?


8. Youth that will ignite the local music scene


You go, girl. Copyright: MOE. Reproduced with permission.  



If I have one thing to say to these talented young musicians, it’s this: Even when you grow up, don’t forget the music that you loved playing as a child or teenager. As a musician myself, I hope that many of these performers will grow up to carry the torch of our local music scene. It won’t be easy, but never give up trying.


9. A time capsule for the future of Singapore sports



Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong joined the youths at Youth Celebrate! and sealed a time capsule with various items symbolic of Singapore’s sporting successes and dreams for the future. These included national sprinter Shanti Pereira’s running shoes and a football from the charity football match earlier that evening. With the newly-constructed Sports Hub, we’re confident great things lie in store for Singapore’s sporting future. 


10. Working with our fellow citizens as one Singapore


Copyright: MOE. Reproduced with permission. 

There was quite a crowd at the event – 53,000! Not all of them came just to watch a light show. Many had family members or classmates performing in the events, and made the journey down to show their support. And if the future of Singapore continue with this mindset,Singapore is in good hands. After all, Singapore is more than a piece of land – we’re more than the sum of our bonds with our fellow Singaporeans.


In the words of PM Lee: “Stretch your limits, help one another, work with your fellow citizens as one Singapore team; show the world what Singapore can be.” 


The Future Is In Our Hands



Dancers, uniformed groups, musicians, athletes and more – with all that we saw, we’re confident the next generation of Singaporeans will do an excellent job carrying the torch for Singapore’s future. 

This post was brought to you by the Ministry Of Education.

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