Revival on the cards for Flash
Flash Athletic Club line up a slew of activities, including a 'mega event' in August
They played a big part in local athletics' glory days of the 70s and 80s by producing stars such as Asian sprint queen Chee Swee Lee and national 100m record holder UK Shyam.
However, a lack of activity in the past decade or so from Flash Athletic Club resulted in one of Singapore's most famous track and field clubs being excluded from Singapore Athletics' (SA) list of 21 affiliates.
In a bid to "get people excited about athletics again", the club have lined up a slew of athletics events this year.
Longstanding Flash president Edmond Pereira said that the club have been working hard on a revival.
"The club have been on the road back from a few years ago," said the criminal lawyer, who ran unsuccessfully to be SA president last June.
"We tried to get coaches, roped in people like (former sprinter Muhammad) Hosni, (former vaulter Ng) Kean Mun and organised clinics.
"We got our AGM going two years ago and, last year, we held open relays.
"Some of our athletes took part in various meets during this time, but the club were not registered as an affiliate so they ran as "unattached" or represented their schools.
"We tried to reapply as an affiliate in 2014, but the SA said we did not pay the annual subscription fee, were inactive and so on, so we had to wait.
"In 2015, they said we can apply to be reinstated in March 2017. So come March, we'll apply again."
Like they did in their heyday, Flash, which were formed in 1968, will try to spot and groom young talents, with plans to recruit 30 youths aged between 13 and 19 to be included in their training programme.
One of the first events Flash are organising is the Manulife-Flash X-Country Run 2017 at Bedok Reservoir on Saturday.
There are also plans to hold a multi-legged Grand Prix Race in Singapore, which they once organised in 1993.
More than 1,000 participants took part in the races then, which took place at five different venues in Singapore.
This time round, Flash are planning a three-legged, cross-country Grand Prix.
The first will be held at Jurong Lake in April, then at the Punggol Water Park in September, and finally East Coast Park in November.
In addition, Flash vice-president Samuel Singaram revealed that the club are planning to hold a "mega event" at the Marina Barrage on Aug 6, which will also double up as celebrations of Singapore's 52rd birthday.
Singaram added that the club have been working hard to secure sponsors for all their events this year.
For the Manulife-Flash X-Country event, sponsors like apparel makers Brooks, restaurant chain Swensens, radio stations Power 98 and JIA 88.3 and electronics appliance makers Kenwood, have lent their financial support to the tune of a combined six-figure sum.
Said Pereira: "We want to get people excited with athletics in Singapore again, and to get people participating.
"Then slowly, from the general base, we can build them up into the competitive arena."
'A carnival atmosphere for all'
Cross-country meets usually last a couple of hours.
Not the Manulife-Flash X-Country event, taking place at Bedok Reservoir on Saturday.
In a bid to keep participants occupied, organisers Flash Athletic Club have scheduled the various races and lined up events from 8am till 7pm.
Some of these include wakeboarding and water-skiing competitions, a mass Zumba workout, and a kabbadi competition. Said Flash vice-president Samuel Singaram: "Our aim was to create a carnival atmosphere."
Singaram is hoping to attract 5,000 participants across 16 events. In addition to the six events for adults in the 10km and 5km (men's and women's open, men's and women's masters, international men's and women's), there are also eight events for youths, a wheelchair race (5km) and 5km walk and jog for senior citizens.
Participants will also include individuals from the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped and the Singapore Association for the Deaf. Tickets, priced at $10 for age-group categories and $20 for adult ones, can be bought from tickettailor.com. Bulk registration can also be made by e-mailing Singaram at firstname.lastname@example.org.