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Oct 20, 2012

2nd Shot: The Basketball Star of Singapore

Teck Ghee Community Club

The PM National Day Rally is typically where and when stars aka role models are born literally over an evening from the stage of University Cultural Centre at NUS. For this year's rally the PM listed out, as usual, the folks across the various demographic groups who would become our role models. What's unusual is the role model for active ageing whom the PM met after one of his constituency events. From her age and hobby-mismatch witnessed by the PM that day, I guess she must have left a deep impression in him.

She is Madam Chang Ka Fong, one of the three active seniors cited by the PM in his Mandarin rally speech. What's significant here among the role models cited that evening is her age - she is 87, just one year shy of the PM father. What's laudable here is despite being advanced in years, this granny still makes it a point to play basketball everyday by joining NBA shooting 50 hoops at Teck Ghee Community Club. Her exercise regime puts the rest of us to shame; I can imagine yours truly already groaning and grumbling after 25 hoops under the sun and I'm not even half her age.

I'd think it is not absurd to call Madam Chang the basketball star of Singapore, the label I use for the title of this post, after the citation by our Chief Executive when you consider most people struggle to name the "Fandi Ahmad" of Singapore basketball anyway.

ST Photo taken at a basketball court in Teck Ghee; the PM chatting with Madam Chang and HC looking behind. According to the ST article, the PM even tried his hands at shooting hoops!

Teck Ghee Neighborhood from Community Club
The basketball court is the one at Teck Ghee Community Club, as I found out during my lunchtime mission. Blk 410 in the ST photo is the block nearest to the court in this photo.

Since I was a total stranger to Teck Ghee ward the PM's fiefdom in Ang Mo Kio constituency, I was naturally curious about the neighborhood, in particular the granny's playground at the community club. What better way to explore the area than to embark on a lunchtime mission? Incidentally I also found a ST photo of the granny with a basketball taken at her playground. Guess the lunchtime mission would also provide me a good opportunity for a "second shot" of the ST photo.

Teck Ghee Community Club
Teck Ghee Community Club where Madam Chang Ka Fong shoots 50 hoops everyday at her playground. Guess she does her exercise in the morning, for I did not get to see her in action during my lunchtime mission.

As you can see in the first photo of this post, my "second shot" did not turn out well, the flaws evident at the edges. I had expected this as the photo looks like a wide-angle lens was used to take the shot. Since I did not have as well-equipped an arsenal like the press photographers, I decided to stop in my usual pursuit of perfection ignore the imperfection and this post just have to accept my composition.

I did not take these photos on my first visit to Teck Ghee. Coincidentally there was a tentage set up on the exact spot where my photos matter most - at the basketball court. The tentage could have been prepared for the mid-autumn festival a few days away. The opportunity lost, I left the place a little dejected. I shall be back.

On my return visit, thank goodness there was no tentage at the court. It was at this opportunity when the court was perfectly empty that I caught sight of a sign on the fence. I went in for a closer look. At that moment, I thought I knew why Madam Chang Ka Fong shoots hoops at this basketball court every day.

Sign inside Teck Ghee Community Club
The sign is unusual and I did not expect to see this in a community club. A basketball court is usually considered a permanent fixture in a CC; to tell Madam Chang her playground "is only for temporary use" is a bit heartless don't you think so? What is the PA thinking?

3 comments:

alleyoop said...

that ah ma's an inspiration..
i hope i can still jump and play basketball when i am 60

alleyoop said...

btw i used to play at Teck Ghee CC

their basketball court used to be located outside (at where the street soccer court is now) in the nineties

Icemoon said...

Hi alleyoop,

I doubt I still have the energy to jump and play basketball when I'm 60. That requires stamina and agility. To shoot hoops, maybe possible :)

By the way, where is the street soccer court you referred to?