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5,000 participate in the National Day Parade

Participants ranged from polytechnic students to those who belong to the pioneer generation.

SINGAPORE: It took months of intense practice to perform with precision, and for one family, marching in the Swiber contingent, it meant weekly training sessions that would often last a whole day.

"I did my banner drills earlier, so I could teach those skills to my father and my brother," said Mr Zulhaffeq Zuffean Zamri.

His father could not be more proud. "The tip he gave us is to look in front while marching. Don't look left and right. Concentrate on the marching in front itself," said Mr Zamri Mohammed Sani.

"Not many Singaporean families can march with their family members in the NDP. I personally feel that I'm fortunate that I've been given the opportunity to march with my family members, so I can get to spend time with them," said Mr Zamri's other son Shazmeer Zhaswan. This is the first time the oil and gas company Swiber participated in the parade.

Separately, it took a lot of teamwork for the parade's cheerleaders to nail their high-flying moves. ""I feel it was challenging because we are from three different schools, and the habits and cultures of different teams are very different. So having to come together for the same cause was challenging," said Ms Kimberly Chen.

"During this NDP performance, we don't have mats. Why? It's because there are other performers coming to perform as well. So I think that's one of the major challenges (as well)," Samantha Chew explained.

Mdm Alice Bee last performed in the National Day Parade, 30 years ago. The 78-year-old is the parade's oldest performer and joined in the fun this year because she wanted to be part of the parade's last performance at the Floating Platform. She says it's different performing at the platform compared to the Padang.

"The area is not so large and we didn't use to have this kind of music and lights and we didn't have that kind of excitement. Now it's so different," she shared.

Some 200 pioneers were specially invited to watch the parade. And they were given the VIP treatment - an express lane into the parade venue, and the best seats in the house. 

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