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Sazali Abdul Aziz
Saturday, Jul 5, 2014

Sports

Fwah! What a stage

The New Paper | Sazali Abdul Aziz | Saturday, Jul 5, 2014

HAVING A BALL: Minister of State for Trade and Industry Teo Ser Luck (second from the left, in blue) will lead a parliamentary team in the Football With A Heart event at the new National Stadium.

Brazil, Argentina, Holland, France.

The World Cup buzz was evident at the launch of this year's Football With A Heart (FWAH), with many naming their favourites to lift the trophy in Brazil.

Those present at the Black Box at the brand-new Sports Hub yesterday were also focused on doing their bit for charity.

Into it's third year, FWAH is a fund-raising event kicked off by Singapore Pools. It features five-a-side teams formed by various corporations competing in a football tournament, with monies raised going to named beneficiaries.

The first FWAH tournament was held at the Padang in 2012. It moved to the Jalan Besar Stadium last year.

In an exciting development, this year's tournament on Sept 20 will be held at the newly-opened National Stadium.

It started off with 28 participants in 2012, but this year, Singapore Pools has already secured more than 50 teams, and are open to taking in more.

Minister of State for Trade and Industry Teo Ser Luck - who worked closely with Singapore Pools chief executive Tan Soo Nan to make FWAH a reality - has been heartened by the growth of the project over the years.

Teo will lead a parliamentary team likely to feature the likes of Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin and MPs Zainudin Nordin and Edwin Tong, among others, in the tournament.

Touching on FWAH's growth, Teo said: "It shows that any small idea can have a big impact, and if we are willing to support it as a community, it can scale up.

"Using football to bring people together for a social cause... is most meaningful.

"The participation levels going up augurs well."

FWAH raised $567,000 for nine beneficiaries last year.

This year, Singapore Pools hope to raise $650,000 for 10 beneficiaries.

GAIN ACCESS

One of the 10 is SportCares, a foundation which, among other things, helps underprivileged youth gain access to sporting facilities and coaching.

The foundation has created a mini-tournament featuring six youth teams, who will compete on the sidelines of the FWAH event.

Said Laura Reid, deputy director of SportCares: "It would be great to see a larger youth tournament going on parallel to FWAH, so, in their downtime between games, the CEOs of the corporations can come across and see the youths they are helping.

"Corporate tournaments like this help show that the kids are worth investing in."

msazali@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on July 03, 2014.
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