“Important to find occasions and platforms to bring people together”: Minister Alvin Tan stresses on the significance of sports for a cohesive Singapore

Onlookers were surprised as Singapore’s Minister of State for Culture, Community and Youth, Alvin Tan, donned on his football jersey and walked into the pitch to take part in a short game. Tan, who admittedly loves football and has played it since his childhood, ended up on the winning side. After the game he highlighted the importance of sports to make the city-state more united and vibrant, especially at a time when the world is witnessing more riots and neighbours are becoming increasingly hostile towards one another.

Speaking exclusively to Connected to India CEO Himanshu Verma, Tan, who took part in the match, organised by various Indian associations in Singapore to celebrate Father’s Day, said, “Singapore is a melting pot. We have people from overseas. We have locals, and it’s incredibly important, especially in a very fractured world to find occasions and platforms to bring people together. Sport, particularly football, and later on cricket brings people together quite seriously.”

The lawmaker’s side won the match 5-3. He, however, lauded his teammates for bailing him out from an embarrassment.

The match was organised jointly by Medicorp Oli 968, Mediacorp Vasantham, Singapore Indian Association, SINDA and LiSHA. The Indian Association, which turned 100 in 2023, played the host for the event.

Tamil Marren, President of SIA, said the association wanted to make Father’s Day more meaningful with the game. Marren, who played as a goalie, was happy with his performance, and claimed to have save three goals during the 15-minute match.

Anand K from Mediacorp Radio Oli 968 said they paired up with the others to celebrate fathers, who play an important role in the family.

Watch the full video below.