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World Cup 2022: A tale of many cultures

The FIFA World Cup 2022 is more than just a chance to watch great football – it’s also a great opportunity to celebrate the cultures of other countries



Former Argentine national footballer and legend Sergio Aguero arguably summed up the global appeal of the World Cup best when he said: “The World Cup is a way of discovering other cultures. It’s up to us to break down the barriers between cultures. There’s no other way”. The FIFA World Cup is known for igniting the passion of football fans worldwide as they root for their favourite teams and players. But what if we told you that there’s more to uncover this season other than cheering through a screen?

As the games roll on and produce some unforgettable matches – from France’s sublime performances to Japan and Korea’s giant-killing feats on the pitch – it’s also raised interest in other countries, cultures and cuisines.


England’s World Cup group stage was concluded against Wales, which paved the way to their victory and set up a last-16 tie with Senegal. If you’re a big supporter of the Three Lions, known as the England national football team, why not get to know more about their culture too?

Besides football and other icons like the Royal Family – and yes, Harry Potter –horses also play a prominent role in English culture. During royal commemorations, weddings, festivals, soldiers on horseback are a sight to behold in England. While horses are a rare sight on our shores, what if we told you that you could trot to your heart’s content and experience that magnificent dream right here?

Gallop Stable at Pasir Ris and Horsecity

Gallop Stable offers a range of activities including riding lessons, pony rides and feeding sessions. Opened in 2003 with 13 ponies at Pasir Ris Park, Gallop Stable has expanded to Bukit Timah at the former Turf Club. HomeTeamNS members can enjoy exclusive rates for Pony Rides at S$8 (U.P. S$10), and 10% off regular riding rates (new students only) for Horse or Pony Riding Lessons until 30 June 2023. Simply flash your digital membership card found in the HomeTeamNS Mobile App upon checkout for the promotion.


Japan prides itself on its delectable sushi and the strong culture of cleanliness. Their shock win over Germany in the group stages captured headlines around the world. Equally noteworthy was the sight of Japanese spectators voluntarily helping to clean up the stands post-match. Even if you couldn’t be in Qatar to witness football history being made, there are other ways to celebrate all things Japan.

Hei Sushi (Halal)

Serving over 200 delectable Japanese dishes such as the Aburi & Tobimayo Sushi and Soft Shell Crab Udon, Hei Sushi is Singapore’s first halal-certified conveyor belt sushi restaurant. HomeTeamNS members can either enjoy 10% off the total bill, or a Tea Time Buffet at $19.80+ (U.P. $28.80+) at any Hei Sushi outlet.

Sakae Sushi

Sakae Sushi is also a conveyor belt sushi restaurant in Singapore that serves up affordable and authentic Japanese dishes such as Una Kyu Temaki and Cha Soba and Yasai Tempura Gozen. HomeTeamNS members enjoy 10% off the total bill until 31 August 2023. This promotion is valid at all outlets except Sakae Sushi Tai Seng.

Yunomori Onsen and Spa

Japanese hot springs, otherwise known as Onsen, are popular across Japan. Filled with mineral-rich warm waters, the baths are said to provide various health benefits and can help you to relax. If that sounds like something you need, we’ve great news. With a combination of traditional Japanese Onsen therapies and the healing effects of Thai massages, Yunomori Onsen & Spa allows you to experience a great escape to relaxation and rejuvenation. Be spoiled for choice from a total of 11 pools with six variations of baths and facilities like saunas and steam rooms. HomeTeamNS members get 10% off Onsen Entry (Day Pass) and is valid for new bookings only.

Simply flash your digital membership card found in the HomeTeamNS Mobile App upon checkout for the promotions above.


Germany, also known as ‘The Land of Poets and Thinkers’, is very well-known for getting together for city-wide festivals like Oktoberfest. Did you know that Germany produces over five thousand different types of beer and exports over 1.5 billion litres? About 7 million liters of beer are consumed during Oktoberfest alone!

Baden Restaurant & Pub

If you’re a fan of German football, how about popping open a cold one with your buddies at Baden Restaurant & Pub? Established in 1990, the pub is well-known for serving up a comprehensive range of beer, and popular menu items such as pork knuckle, currywurst, and schnitzels. HomeTeamNS members enjoy 15% discount for all food items, and an extended Happy Hour till 10pm on Monday to Saturday, and 12am on Sundays. Additionally, you can also enjoy a birthday drink on the house.

Simply flash your digital membership card found in the HomeTeamNS Mobile App upon checkout for the promotions above.


The Eiffel Tower in Paris and sweet-scented lavender fields in Provence are some of the most enchanting things about France. It’s common for locals and tourists to indulge in piping hot beignets paired with café au lait, or red Bordeaux accompanied by bread and cheese. With France becoming the first team to qualify for the Round of 16, what better way to celebrate than with a glass of red wine?

Sinopec Petrol Stations

From now till 31 December 2022, HomeTeamNS members can enjoy 50% off the Popular French (Bordeaux) Reds at all Sinopec petrol stations. Choose between Laville Pavillion Bordeaux and Duchesse De Berry Bordeaux at only S$24.50 per bottle. And most importantly, always remember to drink responsibly!

To enjoy this promotion, flash your digital membership card found in the HomeTeamNS Mobile App upon checkout for the promotions above.

For the latest updates on HomeTeamNS promotions and events, visit our website and Facebook page.

Close Up

The dashing hero

HomeTeamNS REAL® Run participant, 57-year-old Kalaichelvan Ramachandran, has been ‘going the distance’ since he was a teenager and has inspired his children to take up the sport too.



Running is not just Mr Kalaichelvan Ramachandran’s lifelong hobby – it is also a passion that he’s proud to have passed down to his three adult children, who took up the sport when they were still young.

Mr Kalaichelvan, known as Kalai, started running cross-country races in secondary school. During his National Service stint, he continued to take part in marathons. Today, he runs twice a week for leisure, going up to three or four times when he is in training for a specific event – such as the HomeTeamNS REAL® Run, which he has taken part in an impressive 25 times.

With the physical race having taken place on 8 October 2022 at Gardens by the Bay, REAL® Run is currently holding a 10km Virtual Run for those who missed out on the earlier physical event.

The REAL® Run 10km virtual run 2022 allows participants to complete the given distance at their own time, pace and running route between 25 October 2022 to January 2023. All that’s needed is to register for the run – the last day to do so is 31 December 2022 – and send in a screenshot of your running app showing the date, time of run and the distance covered. Finishers receive an exclusive The North Face T-shirt and a 20-litre canvas bag, worth a total of S$59.


Mr Kalai and his daughter Divyaa after completing their events at the Yellow Ribbon Run 2012.

As a young man, Mr Kalai found running to be a rewarding hobby as he enjoyed beating the goals he set for himself: “Each time I clocked a new personal best, I wanted to keep improving it.” Now a spry 57, Mr Kalai – who works in the freight forwarding industry – has seen how running has enriched not just his own life, but also strengthened the bond between him and his children, two boys aged 25 and 19, and a girl aged 23.

Mr Kalai first introduced his children to running by enrolling them in age-appropriate races.

“They enjoyed running with other kids, so they looked forward to the events,” he recalled. “They wanted to run in order to keep fit. That’s the lesson I want to pass down to them – that running helps you lead a healthy lifestyle.” Running also helped him to maintain focus as a parent, despite all the pressures of daily life: “Running is a form of relaxation for me. On days that I am particularly stressed, I go for a run so that I keep my frustrations away from my kids.”

Mr Kalai has since ran in several events with his children, including a full marathon with his older son and two Yellow Ribbon Races with his daughter. Each event he and his children participate in creates new opportunities for bonding, he says. “Knowing that my kid is running in the same event as me is inspiring,” he reflected. “If we have an event together, I remind my children to train for it, and we run together a few times before the event. On the event day itself, although we may not be running side by side, we go down to the event together and return home together.”


Mr Kalai at REAL® Run 2004, where he represented Central Police Division during his National Service stint.

One of Mr Kalai’s favourite runs is the HomeTeamNS REAL® Run, which he participates in alongside his friends from a wide array of backgrounds and races. “When we used to train for REAL® Run races in Sentosa, a few of us from different walks of life would meet to have breakfast together on a lorry that was driven by one of the runners,” he reminisced.

While he finds the virtual REAL® Run – first held in 2020 – to be slightly less interactive compared to a physical race, he still embraces the challenge of completing the 10km on his own: “It has proved to me that running can be done anywhere and at any time. I find it rewarding that I can still run together with my friends for this event.”

When he is not training for events, Mr Kalai enjoys the social aspect of running – and has also started doing good with every step. “I am currently a member of a social running group known as the Thaarumaaru Runners, which is known not only among the Indian community but by many Singaporeans too.”

Originally founded in 2017 to encourage fitness among the Indian community, the Thaarumaaru Runners have expanded their activities to include helping others. “We are also a socially responsible group, as we have done fund-raising events,” he shared.

Besides connecting him to people, running has taught Mr Kalai more about his own strengths and resilience. Despite a slipped disc in 2010 that took him out of action for a year, he is proud to say that he is still capable of running long distances, while maintaining his previous timings. “I have realised that any injuries can be recovered from with good rest. They don’t have to hold me back from continuing in the sport after I recover,” he said. “I also feel that as an active person, we recover quicker from injuries in comparison to less active people.”

If Mr Kalai’s lifelong love affair with running has inspired you to participate in the HomeTeamNS Virtual REAL® Run for the first time, he has some useful tips for newcomers to the event. “When planning the route to run, try to follow those that offer the most realistic experience – including tarmac, beach and trail terrain. Also, form groups with friends who have the same interest, and run together.”

Like our stories? Subscribe to our Frontline Digital newsletters now! Simply download the HomeTeamNS Mobile App, and update your communication preference to ‘Receive Digital Frontline Magazine’, through the App Settings.

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