|By Khalis Rifhan
While many were still enjoying the comfort of their beds after watching a glittering display of fireworks and partying the night before, a group of local football supporters were out in the streets doing their part for our country’s professional league on the first day of 2013.
Donning their respective S.League club jerseys, the crew of Singapore football supporters' group Lions All The Way [LATW] converged at City Hall in the midday sun. There, they obtained flyers specially designed for each club before departing to their respective designated areas to distribute them to the public.
Known as the 'Don't Forget Your S.League Day' initiative, this is the second consecutive year that LATW is organizing such an event. The main aim of this initiative is to raise awareness of and help garner more public support for the S.League clubs, as well as the league itself.
Despite nursing an ankle injury, LATW founder Arief Aditya was not about to sit idle while the rest of his crew busied themselves outside. Armed with a computer at home, the 23-year-old purposefully manned the LATW social media page with pictures from the ground.
“I was tasked to give live updates via our LATW page and judging from the pictures, I think we did a better job this year. We decentralized our operations and went into the neighbourhoods to engage fans," Arief, a Tampines Rovers diehard fan, noted.
"At the end of the day, the success of this initiative is all about convincing just one more person to come down and support the clubs and the S.League.”
LATW’s noble initiative has also caught the eyes of local football players such as Home United's Ismail Yunos, who spotted the group in action near Bishan Stadium.
“I must say I'm quite touched and definitely the rest of the players and officials in league feel the same way too," the defender said.
"I've always supported the LATW crew because of all the support and things they did, not only for the national team, but everything about Singapore football.”
The former Gombak United player continued by saying that the players in the S.League fully appreciated the efforts and sacrifices of the LATW members on a public holiday.
"They could have just chosen to do something else on a New Year holiday like spending time with family and love ones but instead, waking up so early in the morning and doing things that nobody would even think of doing," he pointed out.
“It's definitely not easy having to plan and discuss the event and having to juggle [that] with school, work and family.
"I really salute them all. Thank you so much, LATW crew; you have done so much for us all!”