Sunday, May 13, 2007

Tour of the National Stadium, Part 2

In Tour of the National Stadium (Part 1), I had promised to write more about the Kallang Airport that used to operate in Singapore. I won't have known about the Kallang Airport if not for the fact that one of the tour guides of the Stadium Tour pointed this out to the people in the tour.

If you look at the photo below, the structure you would see at the People's Association's headquarters used to be the control tower of the then Kallang Airport.

"The then Kallang Airport was officially opened on 12 June 1937", and was Singapore's first civil airport. "The airport was in operation till it was replaced in 1955 by the Paya Lebar Airport". (view source here)

If you would like to find out more about the then Kallang Airport, you could visit: Singapore's First Airport, by TY Kwan
Name that place!

Back to the tour of the National Stadium. I decided it was of some value to take photographs of the ticket booths. I reckon that buying tickets at the ticket booths so as to gain admission into the National Stadium was a common thing to do for visitors to the stadium.

The next stop of the tour was to the cauldron. Acroamatic has taken a nice photo of the inside of the cauldron. While I was at the cauldron, I could not help but feel that I would fall down to ground level anytime. I suppose it would take a lot of guts for torch bearers to even walk up to the cauldron without fearing the heights.

The reward for having climbed all the way up to the cauldron was a lovely view of the area. We also got up close to one of the floodlight towers. The tour guide told me that one of the floodlight towers has a lift that can carry about one to two person at any one time.

The floodlight tower that you see in this photo is the only tower with a lift.

After visiting the cauldron and coming close to the base of one of the floodlight towers, the next stop was the Sports Medicine and Research Centre. As participants of the tour, we got some glimpses of what the centre does.

I found out that there is a Biomechanic Laboratory and a Performance Laboratory within the premises of the National Stadium. Here are some snapshots of these laboratories:

Probably the largest threadmill in Singapore.

The tour also led us to the Kallang Family Fitness Centre and other parts of the National Stadium, including the National Stadium exhibition.

At the National Stadium exhibition, one can learn more about the history of the National Stadium, its glorious past, the contributions that it has made to the sports arena in Singapore and a little more about the upcoming Sports Hub.

No tour at the stadium would be complete without taking a good look at its tracks and field.

After the tour, my accompanying friend shared with me that she felt the tour did not do much justice to the Sports Museum. She felt that the segment at the Sports Museum was simply too short and there were too many people on the tour. I would think otherwise. For a two-hours tour, furthermore free-of-charge, it was considered a fairly compact tour that gives participants a fairly good overview of the essence of the National Stadium.

I can sense that the frontline staff who have made the tour possible have done it with sincerity and pride. My words of thanks to them.

If you would like to take a two-hours walk about the National Stadium before it is torn down, do check out the Stadium Tour. Here are the details:

Period of Tour: 3 May to 30 June 2007
Days of Tour: Tuesdays, Thursdays & Saturdays (excluding public holidays)
Tour Duration: 2 hours (approximately)
Tour Time slots: 10 a.m. & 2.30 p.m.
Admission: Free

For query and tour bookings, please call at Tel: (+65) 63409517 or email at
For more information, please click here.

I suggest that you could bring along a thirst-quenching beverage and an umbrella, and please dress comfortably if you were to sign up for the Stadium tour.

Tour of the National Stadium

The National Stadium (Singapore) will soon be torn down to make way for a new Sports Hub. A series of commemorative events have been organised by the Singapore Sports Council. Do click on this link for more information about the commemorative events.

For those of you who have pleasant memories of the National Stadium and who would like to visit it before its official closing ceremony (on 30 Jun 2007), you may be pleased to know that the Singapore Sports Council has organised Stadium Tours to allow the public "to view the National Stadium for the last time and relive some of the old memories".

More information on the Stadium Tour:
Period of Tour: 3 May to 30 June 2007
Days of Tour: Tuesdays, Thursdays & Saturdays (excluding public holidays)
Tour Duration: 2 hours (approximately)
Tour Time slots: 10 a.m. & 2.30 p.m.
Admission: Free

For query and tour bookings, please call at Tel: (+65) 63409517 or email at
For more information, please click here.

If you would like to catch some glimpses of the tour, please read on.

On 5 May 2007, one of my good friends and I met to go for one of the Stadium Tours. Before the tour, we stopped by at the nearby Mac Donalds fast food restaurant for a quick breakfast.

My kind friend went the extra mile to drive me from my home to the National Stadium.

I could not help but take a photo of the nearby KFC fast-food restaurant. It has been there for quite a while as best as I remember.

After breakfast, we headed for the National Stadium. The meeting point of the tour was outside the Sports Museum. We walked up the flights of stairs of the Stadium's West Entrance before we reached the entrance of the Sports Museum. By 10 a.m., there was already quite a number of visitors waiting to go onboard the Stadium Tours. I believe that there were enough visitors to form more than two tour groups. At least I know that Cool Insider, Modcentric and acroamatic were on one of the other tours that same day.

My friend and I joined the first tour group. The first stop for our tour group was the Sports Museum.

The display panel right below attracted my attention. Yours truly was one of the participants who were involved in one of the items of the Opening Ceremony of the XVII Sea Games held in Singapore in the year 1993.

That year, I have had several rehearsals at the National Stadium prior to the actual Opening Ceremony itself. The item that I performed in required me to carry a super large-size balloon and to burst that balloon so that the smaller balloons in it would be released up in the air. On the actual day itself, it was a close shave for me that I managed to make the large-size balloon burst within the given time-frame. It was no easy feat to burst the balloon since it had pretty "thick skin".

There were quite a lot of things to see at the Sports Museum, but due to time constraints, the tour group only spent less than half-an-hour there.

A trophy that I saw at the SSC Hall of Fame section.

Multimedia interactive exhibit. has some interesting posts on the Sports Museum. If you are keen, here are the links for your convenience:
Seeing the National Stadium inside out
Royal Sporting Heroes
Giving a fresh spin to our legacies

At the grand stand.

After visiting the Sports Museum, our tour group were led to the grand stand. I realised that maintenance of the National Stadium had stepped down. Maybe it is because the Stadium is closing soon?

Anyway, our friendly tour guide gave us insights to the history of the museum. I learnt that before the National Stadium was built, the land that it now sits on used to be a swamp. We were also told that even the speakers were state-of-the-art facilities at the time when the National Stadium just opened.

At the grand stand, a sports personality also shared with us his memories of the National Stadium.

Top left: One of the speakers.

Seats for the VIPs.

VIP lounge

VVIP room

We even had pleasure to move up to a part of the grand stand where access was previously restricted only to the media and staff members of the stadium.

After the stadium, we headed for the cauldron. Along the way, I realised that I have a liking for the concrete looking structures of the National Stadium. Perhaps it is because during the past rehearsals of XVII Sea Games (back in year 1993), those concrete spaces were where me and the other performers had to wait at, before our item.

On this tour, I found out that Singapore first civil airport used to be in the Kallang area. If you would like to know about it, please stay tune for more of the tour.

The next and final episode: Tour of the National Stadium, Part 2

Also see:
SSC Sports Museum