Farrer Park community cheers plan to keep sports heritage alive

SINGAPORE – When information first emerged in 2018 that the Farrer Park fields could be returned to the Government for residential use, Mr Nicholas Narayanan and several other different people who felt hooked up to the realm have been moved to act.

They fashioned the Friends of Farrer Park (FOFP) and launched a petition urging the authorities to protect the sporting heritage of the realm, a hallowed floor for sports from the Nineteen Thirties to the Nineteen Eighties. Their voices have been heard.

On Monday (April 25), the Housing Board, Sport Singapore and the Urban Redevelopment Authority unveiled plans for the location that included allocating about 20 per cent of the 10ha website for sports and leisure makes use of, as well as to about 1,600 new flats. The Build-To-Order initiatives shall be launched on the market inside three years.

Mr Narayanan stated he has “lost count” of the variety of engagement classes FOFP has had with the authorities over the previous 4 years, however stated it was definitely worth the effort.

“I am pleased at the (plans for) rejuvenation of the estate and that there is a firm commitment towards retaining the sporting heritage of Farrer Park,” stated the 49-year-old lawyer.

“It is good they are retaining part of the fields as well and they are going to have a jogging track… It is a plan which seems to fit in with quite a number of the residents’ needs.”

The Farrer Park website is bounded by Dorset Road, Keng Lee Road, Hampshire Road and Race Course Road.

Plans for open areas for sports and recreation embrace a 1.2ha central inexperienced area comprising a area and a park.

The former boxing fitness center constructing – beforehand a coaching floor for the Singapore Amateur Boxing Association – shall be retained and transformed right into a multi-purpose community sporting area.

The property’s multi-storey carpark shall be designed such that its floor flooring may be put aside for sporting amenities. There can even be different facilities comparable to health corners, a jogging observe and playgrounds.

But the Farrer Park Swimming Complex is not going to be retained regardless of earlier plans to keep the power, with the companies citing “technical considerations” comparable to floor settlement points. In its place shall be a brand new sports centre with swimming swimming pools and different sporting amenities.

Mr Narayanan, who had learnt to swim on the complicated as a younger boy, stated he hoped the brand new facility will retain some hallmarks of the present one, such because the constructing construction or elements of the pool.

The complicated is at current house to former Olympian Ang Peng Siong’s eponymous swim college, which has leased the power since 2004.

In a Facebook publish addressing his college’s “friends and stakeholders”, Mr Ang, an Asian Games champion and the world’s quickest swimmer in 1982, famous they “have shared many memories together at the complex”.

The 59-year-old informed The Straits Times he’s working with the authorities on persevering with his college’s operations at a location close by, in order to minimise inconvenience to the swimmers based mostly there.

He welcomed plans for sports and leisure use within the space, however added: “When we started in 2004, it took us about three or four years before we saw the vibrancy come back to Farrer Park, and people started using the fields again for frisbee and other activities. With this in mind, when there is an existing ecosystem, it is heartbreaking (to lose it).”

Tennis coach Shaun Aw Yong was additionally saddened to see the Farrer Park Tennis Centre go. His affiliation with the power stretches over 30 years, since he first began taking part in aged eight.

“The whole sports community at Farrer Park, from the boxing coaches to the swimming and soccer ones, knew each other well and everybody got along. We were like a family,” stated the 41-year-old.

Ms Peggy Chua, 48, a resident of close by property Farrer Park View, stated she appeared ahead to the brand new property. She moved into the realm in 2004.

The secretary stated she hoped the brand new amenities would assist her son Nicholas, 15, get extra energetic.

“He does not have any (sports programmes) offered in his school, and only plays relaxed (social) table tennis or badminton,” she stated.

“Having more residents in the area, upgraded gardens, and a sports hub, is ideal… When the residents here were informed of the plans, we were very excited.”

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