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Singtel partners viral elderly skater Uncle Heng for heartwarming CNY film

Singtel partners viral elderly skater Uncle Heng for heartwarming CNY film

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Singapore telco company Singtel has released a new Chinese New Year festive film that aims to celebrate the ways in which technology can be used to change lives. 

Titled 'A Date with Spring', the three-minute film tells the story of 'Uncle', who is reminiscing his roller-skating days with his wife and gets inspired to take up the sport again. 

When faced with failure, Uncle turns to his smartphone to film and review his performance, as well as renew his skills by watching videos of young skaters. Uncle's newfound skating prowess later finds him exploring modern Singapore and revisting old haunts such as Marina Barrage and Chinatown. 

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The character, Uncle, according to a release by Singtel, is inspired by the real life of 70-year-old mechanic Tan Teck Hung, who stars in the film. The brand film turns Tan's personal story into a tale of empowerment for the new year in the hopes of empowering every generation.

“This film isn’t just aspirational. We drew inspiration from the real life of 70-year-old mechanic Tan," said Yuen Kuan Moon, Singtel group CEO.

"Stirred by his personal story, we decided to turn it into a tale of empowerment for the new year which is what Singtel’s purpose is all about – to empower every generation. Technology is not just the purview of the young. It is inclusive and enabling. People of all ages can use it and we’ve made it our mission to help everyone reap its benefits," said Yuen. 

Tan, affectionately known as 'Uncle Heng', was himself an avid skater in his youth and picked it up again at 59. He has since become a regular at the East Coast Park skating ring near carpark three, where he skates while blasting Cantonese Pop on loudspeakers. He’s mastered difficult moves that can rival skaters decades younger such as skating on one leg or executing what’s known as the Arabesque spin.

Tan has since become an online celebrity. He has also formed close friendships with other regular skaters, some of whom are above 60 years old and is now attempting to choreograph skating sequences of his own, according to the release. 

“The power of this film lies in the fact that it is not fiction,” said Lian Pek, Singtel’s group vice president of strategic communications and brand.

“He’s 70 years old and skates like a dream – a classic example of ‘age is just a number.’ He’s pursued his passion, and it doesn’t look like he’s about to stop. We think this is a worthy message to spread this festive season: whether its skating or technology – it is never too late to try," added Pek. 

'A Date With Spring' was conceived in-house and produced with Akanga Films. It will air on Singtel TV and various social media channels from 25 January to 24 February.  

Last year, Singtel released a Chinese New Year festive film titled 'Don’t Worry, Be Hoppy!', alluding to the rabbit year and how quick-footed technology helps bond people and enriches their digital lifestyles – from content streaming to e-gaming. The film also highlights Singtel’s commitment to providing prompt, quality service to customers which serves as a key differentiator of its services.

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