Futsal tournament raises over $300,000 for needy kidney patients

SINGAPORE – More than $300,000 was raised for needy kidney patients on Dec 16, as part of a charity five-a-side futsal tournament organised by the Kidney Dialysis Foundation (KDF).

The amount will go towards covering dialysis costs for these patients and providing them with quality care, as well as raising awareness of kidney health.

The event, dubbed Got To Goal 2023: Scoring As One Community, was held at futsal court Kick Off! @ Kovan at Hougang Street 21. It started at 10am and ended at 6pm.

Team Knockout, comprising a group of friends, came out on top, beating 35 other teams to earn the top prize of $1,000. Among the competitors was the Special Olympics Singapore team, made up of players with intellectual disabilities, as part of the event’s theme of inclusivity.

“Got To Goal 2023 is a significant step for us to pave the way for a healthier future, while raising awareness about kidney disease,” said KDF board director Uantchern Loh.

The amount was raised by donors, with the event sponsored by reinsurer OdysseyRe and supported by the Tote Board.

Established in 1996, KDF currently serves patients at four dialysis centres across the island – in Bishan, Ghim Moh, Chinatown and Admiralty.

The Straits Times reported in October that new cases of kidney failure – also known as stage 5 chronic kidney disease – increased by 42 per cent over a decade, jumping from 1,587 cases in 2011 to 2,249 cases in 2020, with diabetes and high blood pressure as the main causes.

Team Knockout captain Prasad Selvaraju said his squad was honoured to be able to act as ambassadors for kidney health.

“We believe in the power of sports to make a positive impact, and this win not only allowed us to forge new friendships with like-minded individuals; it is also a testament to the strength of our community coming together to help needy kidney patients,” he said.

Special Olympics Singapore team manager and sports executive Ahmad Mifdhal said it was an honour for his team to be part of such a meaningful event.

The event also saw 20 KDF beneficiaries fold 300 paper stars, which they put inside a handcrafted football made by KDF patients. The 300 stars represent the current number of KDF patients, as well as their hopes and wishes. Joining them for this activity was guest of honour, Mr Eric Chua, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Social and Family Development, and Culture, Community and Youth.

One of the participants was Mr Teo Teck Lock, a retired taxi driver who has been on dialysis for about nine years. The 75-year-old said he hoped the amount raised would help support needy kidney patients like him.

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