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ActiveSG – Making Sports Our Way of Life

ActiveSG – the national movement for sports – has been a success so far. Launched on 26 April 2014 to encourage residents to lead an active lifestyle through sports, it reached the one million member mark before its second anniversary.

The lucky one millionth member is Chua Sai Wei who signed up on 15 March 2016. In spite of initial reservations about the value of membership, he is glad he took his friends’ advice to join ActiveSG.

“For me, the best feature of this membership is the free ActiveSG S$100 credit for me to use or book facilities,” said the sporty 20-year-old who enjoys playing basketball and badminton with friends.

Given to all citizens and permanent residents who sign up, the complimentary credit can be used to book facilities via the Membership Management System (MMS), pay for entry to gymnasium and swimming pools or sign up for a variety of ActiveSG programmes. Members enjoy benefits, including priority booking of facilities and complimentary trial classes.

Members can also leverage on the ActiveSG Membership network to form interest groups, sign up for social events, and form sports leagues and zonal affiliation.

Building Effective Teams Through Sport
Over the past two years, a slew of programmes has been introduced for individuals and groups with sports as a medium to foster learning and development.

For corporates, TeamUP is an experiential programme which uses sport to promote team development. By mirroring sporting situations, participants will learn to apply the traits and behaviours of a high-performing team both on and off the field of play. Competitive, highly energetic and above all, fun, the aim is to help companies build effective teams through sport, drawing on established team development models.

SportSG works with companies to customise programmes to meet their organisational needs and identify areas they want to focus on.

At a pilot run involving several small and medium-sized enterprises in 2014, 88% of participants agreed that TeamUP helped them to improve team dynamics, strengthen relationships and build a high-performance team. TeamUP will reach out to more corporations from July 2016 onwards, supported by the National Integration Council.

Establishing a String of Sport Academies
ActiveSG’s latest initiative is the introduction of its Sport Academies and Clubs, which allow all who sign up to learn to play and gain skills from top-quality coaches in a structured environment.

“Through the ActiveSG Sport Academies and Clubs, there will be a variety of opportunities for the public to pick up a new sport, develop both sporting and life skills, and possibly go on to pursue the sport competitively,” Baey Yam Keng, the Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) told Parliament in April 2016.

Four have been launched this year – football, athletics, basketball and tennis – with many more in the pipeline, including aquatics, badminton, cycling, floorball, functional fitness, outdoor sports, senior sports, table tennis and water sports. For people with disabilities, there will be badminton, boccia, football, swimming and table tennis.

ActiveSG Football Academy
The programme has taken a promising start with the ActiveSG Football Academy. Headed by ex-national striker Aleksandar Duric and supported by reputable coaches from the local football fraternity, the academy’s core syllabus is adopted from the Football Association of Singapore Grassroots Manual. It also incorporates SportSG’s expertise in the area of character development through sport, including elements from the “Game for Life” toolkit.

Targeted at youngsters aged 6 to 16, the academy seeks to complement the football programme offered by schools while providing opportunities for children who are unable to enter their school team or are currently in a school which does not have a football team.

The inaugural programme started during the June school holidays when 312 boys and girls took part in training sessions at the Kallang Cricket Field and the Jurong East, Queenstown, Serangoon and Woodlands stadiums. A total of 13 training sessions were conducted over five weeks.

ActiveSG Athletics Club
Next was the ActiveSG Athletics Club, launched on 29 April 2016 with programmes in two categories – for primary school pupils between the ages of 6 and 12, and youths between the ages of 13 and 24. Helmed by head coaches Melvin Tan and Steven Quek, established instructors in the local athletics coaching scene, the programme was held up to three times a week over 10 weeks at five venues – Bedok Stadium, Bishan Stadium, Bukit Gombak Stadium, Home of Athletics (Kallang Practice Track) and Woodlands Stadium.

“Athletics forms the basis for all sport skill development and is key in promoting life-long enjoyment of physical activity. While we do hope to widen the talent pool in track and field through the ActiveSG Athletics Club, it also lays the foundation for sports they choose to pursue later,” noted SportSG’s Chief for ActiveSG
Lai Chin Kwang.

Participants can expect to interact with Team Singapore Sport Ambassadors such as Calvin Kang, C. Kunalan, Dipna Lim-Prasad, Glory Barnabas, Kenneth Khoo, Lieu Teck Hua, Shanti Pereira and U.K. Shyam. These home-grown track and field stars will make their appearances at some training sessions to share their experiences, give advice and motivate the young.

ActiveSG Basketball Academy
As the third academy launched, the Basketball Academy is a tripartite partnership among SportSG, the Basketball Association of Singapore and the Singapore Slingers.

Headed by Academy Principal, former national coach Neo Beng Siang, the Academy encompasses a deliberately carved pathway for children and youths to develop their talent and nurture their passion for the sport. It also seeks to complement the efforts of the Basketball Association of Singapore and the Singapore Slingers in encouraging participation, raising the quality of coaching and programmes, and nurturing a calendar of leagues and competitions for all abilities and levels.

There is also an element of character development through sport in which participants will be equipped to be future ready by displaying leadership skills and personal values that parents, teachers and future employers value.

Suitable for kids 5 to 14 years of age, the classes are conducted over 10 weeks, up to three sessions per week, beginning in September 2016 at five sports centres in Choa Chu Kang, Clementi, Delta, Hougang and Pasir Ris.

ActiveSG Tennis Academy
Rounding off the line-up for 2016 is the ActiveSG Tennis Academy, which seeks to provide a structured pathway for the young to learn to play the game. Helmed by professional coaches led by Technical Director Robert Davis, one of the top coaches in the Association of Tennis Professionals circuit, the programme is designed to be fun, yet challenging at every level, from fundamental movement skills to core tennis skills.

To make the sport more accessible, coaching is offered at four training centres – Bedok Sports Centre, Yio Chu Kang Sports Centre, Kallang Squash and Tennis Centres and Farrer Park Tennis Centre.

Visit myactivesg.com/academy for more details.