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URA plan to preserve Farrer Park’s sports history cheered

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Lawyer Nicholas Narayanan has become “emotional” while he learned about the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) draft Master Plan, which became unveiled closing Wednesday.

The 46-12 months-old is a part of the “Friends of Farrer Park” group that set up a web petition to maintain the place’s carrying background and became thrilled to pay attention that the Government plans to do just that, as part of its redevelopment blueprint.

Among other updates, Farrer Park becomes featured, with its iconic swimming pool and former boxing gymnasium to be retained to “maintain the wearing background of the vicinity and inspire destiny generations of sportsmen.”

“While we apprehend it is nonetheless very a good deal within the starting stage, it’s far nevertheless a fantastic step forward,” said Mr. Narayanan, who nonetheless lives in Farrer Park, off Dorset Road, and learned to swim at the Farrer Park Swimming Complex.

The place, which groomed a lot of Singapore’s sports stars from the Sixties to the Nineteen Nineties, got here underneath the highlight whilst The Straits Times reported in March remaining yr that the 9ha plot of land between Dorset Road and Northumberland Road, wherein the Farrer Park fields take a seat, became slated for housing redevelopment.

The area includes the currently vacant boxing gymnasium – the Singapore Amateur Boxing Association moved out remaining April – and swimming complex, that’s presently leased to former country broad swimmer Ang Peng Siong’s eponymous swim college. The region additionally consists of 8 tennis courts which are managed through national sports activities business enterprise Sport Singapore (sports).

In reaction to queries from The Straits Times, the URA spoke back in a joint media announcement with sports that authorities companies “are aware of Farrer Park’s sporting records”, and held workshops with stakeholders, which include Friends of Farrer Park and athletes, to “recognize what’s important to the community, and to co-create ideas on how the precinct may be rejuvenated sensitively”.

The announcement delivered that it received comments that sports facilities in the place should be included as a part of the destiny precinct, and that “the pool need to continue to be for public use, and the former boxing fitness center could be tailored for different appropriate sports or community use.”

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“These ideas could be incorporated inside the plans for the housing precinct, alongside a sports activities discipline and park to serve the community better,” the statement said.

More details, consisting of improvement timelines, could be introduced when geared up, it added.

Local swimming icon Mr. Ang, 56, became one among many former athletes who voiced the need for the Government to maintain Farrer Park’s sporting history while the information broke remaining 12 months.

He informed ST that he turned into pleased to study URA’s plans, saying: “The Farrer Park spirit is that absolutely everyone can go there and play any game they need.

“It seems there can be alternatives and centers for people to do sports activities and stay wholesome, and that is the important thing aspect to maintaining the wearing background of the location alive.”

While aware that he might vacate the 62-yr-old pool for redevelopment, Mr. Ang hopes he can retain to hire the premises to train swimmers, including Asian Para Games champion Toh Wei Soong, until the Aug 25 to Sept 6 Paralympics next year.

“Wei Soong is preparing for Tokyo, and that continuity is important,” said Mr. Ang, who introduced that this changed into one of the concerns raised to the Government.

Others who keep a connection to Farrer Park also lauded the Government’s plans.

Former Olympic boxer Syed Abdul Kadir, who trained at the boxing health club when it opened in 1968, referred to that the place turned into a “2d home” for lots countrywide athletes in the past.

Former Countrywide soccer captain Terry Pathmanathan became one of those consulted at the workshops. He became born and raised in Buffalo Road near Farrer Park.

“I understand the demanding situations where development is worrying. However it’s far first-rate that positive elements of it will likely be preserved for absolutely everyone to don’t forget,” said the 63-yr-vintage Mr. Pathmanathan, who have been expertise-scouted at Farrer Park through the late former countrywide soccer train Choo Seng Quee.

“It is a special vicinity to many Singaporeans from my era, and our emotional connection to the location is going past any economic fee.”

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