The fun way to bonding for parishioners young and old.

Andrew Kiflie

If you think this is all kids’ stuff – then think again. This is a game with a serious objective in mind. It is the Church of St Anthony’s way of getting everyone to take part in a Street Challenge.

The winner is all the parishioners who took part – they made lasting friendships and made many new friends.

“I enjoyed the games a lot with my teammates and my greatest takeaway was that it is important to just have fun in the games,” said Madeline Ng, 20. “Winning isn’t as important.”

For Gladys Toh, 14, the games held at the Mega Sports Park at Woodlands Avenue 1 on Aug 22 was all about connecting with fellow parishioners. “I really became closer to others,” she said.

Madeline and Gladys were among 120 parishioners – from young kids to those above 50 – who took part in the games, which is held annually since 2011.

Initially aimed at the youth, to help them bond with one another over some friendly competition, the organisers subsequently decided to expand them to include all parishioners.

The games played ranged from soccer, basketball and captain’s ball – you take your pick. The excitement and intense competition helped to nurture a spirit of camaraderie among the players.

For example, when a team had to play with one person less because she suffered a leg sprain, the opposing team voluntarily got one of its players to opt out so that both sides could continue the game with equal number of players.

Certainly, this friendly spirit bodes well for the future of church parishioners.

There was also a section for children below 12, in which they played a scaled down version of the three sports and also frisbee.

For Alex Devadass, 48, his biggest takeaway was “the whole concept of bringing the Children of God together for sports”.
Isabelle Tan, 21, one of the organisers, added: “The Street Challenge is an event which allows the parish to get to know one another through sports. Youth, adult, it doesn’t matter because in the end we are just one!”