Parishioners of the Church of St Anthony bond with parish priest, Fr Terence Pereira  (in black), during their Street Challenge event.

It was a day of fun, excitement and teamwork as close to 200 parishioners of the Church of St Anthony gathered for the parish’s annual Street Challenge on July 17.

Cheers rang through the air as the teams, comprising a total of 80 players aged 13-50, competed in soccer, basketball and captain’s ball.

Held on the hard courts just down the road from the church in Woodlands, the event was not only focused on the competition. Parishioners who were not playing were encouraged to cheer on the different teams, and food and drinks were available for purchase, giving the event a carnival feel.

When the first Street Challenge was held in 2011, it was an event for the youth only.

However, seeing the support from the adults, the event was later opened up to the rest of the parish.  Now, there are teams of players signing up to play as ministries, friends, and even as a family.

The benefits of bonding as a parish are clear.

As Gwendolyn Lai, 14, put it, “[I learnt] how communication is important. Without communication, it is hard to understand each other and what we plan to do.”

The event has even garnered support from non-Catholic residents in the neighbouring blocks, some of whom have been coming down to participate in the fun over the past couple of years.

“I saw smiles…, laughter and enjoyment during the sports,” said Paulo Brian Galiluyo, 20, one of the organisers of the event. “To bring joy is to bring Christ to others.”