Every training session is unique; each moment is different from the other. My usual training kicks off in the late afternoon, slightly after 4pm at the Kallang Practice Track (KPT). It begins with the tap of my finger onto the fingerprint scanner that gives me access to the gym. The prolonged beep of the system reading my fingerprint and then a pause, often followed by “Please Try Again” on the scanner. It’s probably because of my sweaty palms and my finger leaving the scan zone too quickly. I often have to try it a couple of times. The door opens and the stream of cool air gushes out into the warm outside. I hear the sounds of the radio, usually tuned in to a station that plays non-stop hits, beats blasting the compact gym area.
The sound of plates crashing into the ground is a common refrain you will hear at the KPT gym, with numerous throwers, jumpers, sprinters, runners lifting and dropping the bumper plates on to the ground. Each power lift and jerk builds up the roaring atmosphere in the gym. It also psyches me up to know that training has begun and everyone is working hard towards that training goal, to complete the workout!
In the evening, the track is occupied by many other schools that have set up camp at KPT. The track and the field area is filled with coaches and their athletes, all in various states of their training. From the glass door of the gym, I see the expanse of the entire track before me. On my right, I see jumpers hopping, leaping and tumbling into the sand pit. Adjacent to the sand pit lies the discus throwing area. This area emits the loudest decible intensity, as the area is enclosed with metal bars that are often hit by the discus. The sound resembles that of a piling machine hammering steel into the ground. The javelin and the high jump area sits in that same semi circle area and is often filled with athletes preparing their run ups from the track. Hurdles have been placed around the 400m track and the sight of everything feels like the Track & Field Competition Series that is held every month, (next one: Track & Field Series 2 (14 & 15 Feb 2015), only without the officials, timing systems, score boards. The atmosphere feels like a vibrant athletics carnival and the view is beautifully completed by the blazing sun setting overlooking the Sports Hub, setting the clouds on fire.
I like how athletics in Singapore is slowly evolving; a centralized training area we can call our track home #saakpt. Singapore Athletics has been around for a long time, there have been many instances of mishaps, management issues, athlete and coach disharmony. Coming down to 2015, the steady progress of creating this venue for everyone indeed spurs us to work towards harmony and to excel in the sport without such hinderances. KPT has been established as our track home; we eat, rest, play in this new found “home”. I wonder how it will be like when the 28th SEAG SINGAPORE takes place this JUNE; just imagine the whole Sports Hub area filled with events, spectators and road shows. It indeed heightens exhilarating atmosphere here at KPT!
(Photo Credits : Loh Guo Pei )