Speech By Ms Indranee Rajah, Senior Minister Of State, Ministry Of Law And Ministry Of Education, At The Official Launch Of the National Standards For Youth Sports

09 Nov 2012

Mrs Yap-Ng Hwee Heng, Principal, Jurong West Primary School

Mr Richard Seow, Chairman, Singapore Sports Council

Mr Lim Teck Yin, Chief Executive Officer, Singapore Sports Council

Distinguished guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

1. A very good afternoon to all of you. I am delighted to be here today to launch the National Standards for Youth Sports.

2. I am going to begin by sharing the great pride I felt last month after the Malaysia Cup semi-final match between our LionsXII and Angkatan Tentera Malaysia. That narrow defeat on penalties dashed our hopes but not our Singapore spirit. The fans cheered the team for a game well-played. Players took time to comfort each other. As vice-captain Harris Harun put it: "We did well. And we win and lose as a team".

3. This is the kind of sporting spirit that we want to see more of and which the National Standards for Youth Sports (NSYS) seeks to instill.

Why the Standards Matter

4. Sport has the power to instill important values such as resilience, fair play and teamwork in our youth. Participating in sports, our youth learn and develop life skills such as critical decision-making, goal-setting, leadership, problem-solving in real time, and, time-management. Furthermore, a sporting lifestyle improves health and well-being.

5. To fully realise the power of sport, certain standards should be in place. The NSYS outlines three principles and nine standards that will uphold Singapore's commitment to its youth in sports. These principles are standards that stem from the underlying Vision 2030 philosophy that every youth should be given the opportunity to enjoy sports and grow through his or her participation in sport.

6. Various components of the NSYS, I understand, have taken shape to date. They include a pilot programme conducted with 1,700 Jurong West Primary School students in July this year, where NSYS was introduced through assembly sessions, interactive games and contests. I would like to take the opportunity to commend these students, 40 of whom are in our midst today, for taking part in the programme. The NSYS complements our schools' efforts in inculcating the sporting spirit in their students and I am glad that the following schools have indicated they will also be involved in the programme from now through the first quarter of 2013:
  • Saint Anthony's Primary School
  • Ahmad Ibrahim Primary School
  • Fernvale Primary School
  • Saint Anthony's Canossian Primary School
  • Tampines Primary School
7. It is important to understand that the NSYS is far-reaching and not just about youth. It involves everyone - from players and coaches to parents, games officials and organisers. As such, the programme has been tailored to ensure that the various stakeholders are aware of the respective roles they play. For instance, a Parents' Guide was recently developed, and, the standards will soon be incorporated into the "Coaching for Singapore Schools" workshop for all CCA coaches come 2013.

The Sports Pathways Committee (SPC)

8. The NSYS plays a significant role in cultivating a healthy environment for youth in sport. However, many stakeholders have a hand in developing sports pathways for Singapore. We, as a society, can do even more by working in an integrated manner. I understand that a Sports Pathways Committee (SPC) will be holding its inaugural meeting today to foster deeper relationships and collaborations in sport. The Committee will look into matters such as the alignment of sport related policies, capability development of coaches and other sports professionals, and coordination in the development of spaces for sports. Their work will bring value to our whole-of-government youth development effort. I would like to commend them for their commitment to ensuring future generations of Singaporeans will live better through sports.

Thank you.
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