SEP 29 1997

Matches called off, but charity walk goes ahead

ORGANISERS of the National Street Soccer League took the tournament's slogan "Too Tuff to Puff" to heart and called off the league finals yesterday afternoon when the haze thickened.

But Singapore Airlines' charity walk went on as planned in the morning when the pollution level stayed below 100.

The hourly PSI crossed into the unhealthy level at 10 am, rising to 146 by noon and hitting a high of 181 at 3 pm.

Noting this, the organisers of the soccer competition held at the open-air Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza in Orchard Road called off the games, although the young players were raring to go on.

The Health Ministry, which was co-organising the tournament with Teck Ghee Community Centre, advised organisers to postpone the eight games still to be played.

Mr Kua Hong Pak, chairman of Teck Ghee Citizens' Consultative Committee, told reporters: "We called for a half-hour break at 2.30 pm when the haze got thicker, and then at 3 pm when the PSI reached 181, we decided to call the rest of the games off. The boys wanted to continue, but it would not have been healthy."

The games, which were launched in April and had reached its semi-finals stage yesterday afternoon, will now be rescheduled.

But over at the National Stadium in the morning, hazy conditions did not stop more than 20,000 SIA staff and their families from raising about $200,000 for the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore in a charity walk.

Minister for Community Development Abdullah Tarmugi flagged off the walk, part of SIA's 50th anniversary celebrations, at 7.45 am, when the PSI reading was 84.


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