SINGAPORE: The Singapore Sports Hub on Sunday (May 12) launched a new educational trail showcasing the rich history of Kallang, as well as art and sporting achievements, as part of the Singapore Bicentennial commemoration.
Titled The Kallang Story: A Sports, Arts and Heritage Trail, the trail features 18 heritage markers, artefacts, architecture and new artworks sited around the Singapore Sports Hub.
According to a press release, members of the public can explore all 18 markers together or in three separate smaller walking trails - The Waterfront Trail, The Stadium Trail and The Park Trail.
"Each of the trails tells the Kallang story by highlighting prominent landmarks in the area, both past and present," the release stated.
The Waterfront Trail faces the Kallang Basin, a body of water with a rich history going back at least 400 years and reveals the riverine communities who once called the area home, the traditional industries that contributed lasting place names and the legacy of sports.
The Stadium Trail explores the grounds of the National Stadium and covers major architectural icons which played key roles in sports, politics, energy,
aviation and entertainment in Singapore.
The Park Trail ventures into the former grounds of Kallang Park, journeys through memories of the old Wonderland Amusement Park and ending in front of the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
The artworks, commissioned by the Sports Hub to celebrate Kallang's heritage and local talents, will be rolled out in phases.
Visitors can also keep an eye out for 14 benches repurposed from the timber seats in the former National Stadium.
They can pick up self-guided tour maps of the trail at the Sports Hub’s Visitors Centre at OCBC Square.
"RETURN" OF THE MERDEKA LIONS
The trail also features replicas of the Merdeka Lions, the iconic stone lions that guarded the two ends of the Merdeka Bridge up until the 1960s.
With the widening of Nicoll Highway, the twin sculptures were moved to Kallang Park before being shifted to SAFTI Military Institute, where they remain today.
The replicas are located at Stadium Roar, facing the Kallang Basin.
“There is a treasure trove of stories at Kallang. This was where many of our nation’s sporting memories were forged, and is also home to Singapore’s first civil international airport," said Mr Baey Yam Keng, Senior Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, and the Ministry of Transport.
"I am heartened by this Kallang Story project, which documents some interesting elements of our heritage in the year of Singapore’s Bicentennial. I encourage everyone to come explore the area with family and friends, relive old memories, and reflect on our Singapore Story,” said Mr Baey, who attended the unveiling of the Merdeka Lions on Sunday.
Chairman of Singapore Sports Hub Bryn Jones said he hopes the trail will help more people discover Singapore's sports, arts and heritage scenes.
“Singapore Sports Hub sits on an important historical site not just in relation to its sporting history and achievements. To peel back the layers within the site, there are many prominent landmarks which were unknown to many visitors,” he said.