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New Rivervale CC has facilities for youth, young families and the elderly

Community clubs (CCs) continue to remain relevant today, even though people do not huddle around a communal television set like they did during the kampung days, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Saturday (July 30).

This was especially so in the last few years amid the Covid-19 pandemic, when CCs, grassroots leaders and community volunteers came together to distribute masks, hand sanitisers, and TraceTogether tokens, as well as food packs to those isolating at home.

PM Lee was speaking in Sengkang East, at the opening of a community club which has facilities tailored for the younger residents in the community.

The new Rivervale CC, located next to Rivervale Plaza, is the first CC in Singapore to be built using the more eco-friendly mass engineered timber construction method.

The material is renewable and pre-fabricated to reduce work done on site, and lessens the need for extra cooling or heating of facilities, thus limiting its carbon footprint, according to a press release.

The building has a wooden facade and features such as a green wall meant to complement nearby spots such as the Sungei Serangoon Park Connector and Sengkang Neighbourhood Park.

It also has a co-working space called The Cube targeted towards young people and working adults.

A fitness centre operator was brought in to offer functional body workout training popular with the younger residents, said a CC spokesman.

Elderly residents can tap the Gym Tonic initiative, which provides senior-friendly gym facilities and wellness programmes meant to help them age gracefully.

The new CC has a childcare centre and two enrichment centres to cater to young families in the area.

It also has a multipurpose hall, culinary studio, dance studios and classrooms.

PM Lee noted that plans for Rivervale CC were first announced in 2016, when Sengkang East was still under the People's Action Party (PAP).

In the 2020 general election, Sengkang GRC was won by the Worker's Party.

Whether in a PAP or opposition ward, work on the CC carried on as the need for a larger community space and for a wider range of facilities remain, said PM Lee.

"We also continue to maintain a full grassroots network to inform residents about government policies, to help vulnerable households through many government schemes and to gather feedback so that we continue to have a good sense of the ground."

PM Lee Hsien Loong touring the new Rivervale Community Club on July 30, 2022

Mr Goh Yeow Tin, advisor to Sengkang East grassroots organisations, said he hoped Rivervale CC would serve as a second home to residents, "as they come here to attend courses, to use the facilities, or even as a social gathering point, where they get to meet like-minded neighbours and make new friends".

Mr Goh served with PM Lee in Teck Ghee grassroots organisations for 33 years before he was moved to help in Sengkang earlier this year.

Electrical engineer Muthuvel Nandakumaram, who has two sons aged nine and five, said the old CC premises at a void deck were insufficient as the space was small and congested.

The new CC - less than a five-minute walk from his home - has many more facilities, said the 40-year-old. He plans to continue sending his elder son for taekwondo classes at the CC.

Lee Hsien LoongCOMMUNITY CENTRES AND CLUBSsengkang