14 Organisations Join SSC to Promote Sports Safety Holistically in Singapore
14 Organisations Join SSC to Promote Sports Safety Holistically in Singapore
Singapore, 11 September 2008 - The Singapore Sports Council (SSC) announced today that 14 organisations have joined in a concerted effort to promote sports safety holistically in Singapore. Comprising organisations that manage mass sports events, operate sports venues as well as medical institutions, the Sports Safety Working Committee developed a multi-year, multi-prong Sports Safety Plan.
The 14-member working committee was formed in the first quarter of 2008 to look into implementation issues and operationalise the recommendations of the Sports Safety Committee, chaired by Dr Benedict Tan of Changi General Hospital, in its comprehensive report released on 21 September last year. The report also took into consideration feedback collated during a three-month public consultation process between September and December 2007.
The Sports Safety Plan is divided into three stages - THINK SAFE, PLAY SAFE and STAY SAFE, and aims to create safety awareness, build safety skills and encourage continuity in safe practices.
Said Mr Oon Jin Teik, Chief Executive Officer, Singapore Sports Council, “Following the recommendations of Dr Ben Tan’s committee last year, SSC roped in multiple organisations to look into implementation issues and to operationalise the proposals. This is necessary in order to develop a comprehensive set of action plans that cover all aspects of sports safety - both land and water-based sports, and secure the commitment from as many key parties as possible. This would ensure that the sports safety plans benefit as many people as possible. Sports safety is the responsibility of the public, private and people sectors. Only when all parties work together, can we be confident that our sports safety plans will ensure a safe and enjoyable sporting experience for everyone.”
Added Mr Oon, “Our main objective is to champion sports safety practices and facilitate cross agency cooperation to find workable solutions to implementation issues. For example, one of the implementation issues identified is the lack of resources and expertise amongst NSAs in developing and implementing a safety management system. To address this, we have secured a tie up with the Institute of Technical education (ITE) to assist NSAs with their safety plans. I am happy to see many organisations view the seriousness of safety and coming forward to help implement safe practices.”
The SSC is finalising the finer details of the tie up and will be signing an Article of Agreement (AOA) with ITE soon. In principle, ITE students will undergo sports safety training with the SSC. After successful completion, they will be assigned to different NSAs to review their current practices and improve their safety plan, which includes Risk Assessment & Safety Management systems. They will also assist NSAs in operationalising the safety plans accordingly.
As part of the sports safety plans, the Singapore Heart Foundation also launched its new Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Personal Kit. Learning basic CPR skills an important aspect of sports safety and the aim of the kit is to make it easier for as many people to learn CPR as possible. The CPR Home Kit allows families, friends and the general public - those who most likely would never attend a traditional CPR course, to learn the core skills of CPR using their own personal kit. The kit contains a personal, inflatable CPR manikin (“Mini Anne”), CPR Anytime Skills Practice DVD and accessories - everything needed to learn basic CPR. The skills can be learned anywhere, from the comfort of a family home to a large community group setting.
“The Singapore Heart Foundation is delighted to be a partner in SSC’s initiative to nurture a sports safety culture in Singapore. To this end, SHF is developing a self-instructional CPR 3A (Anyone Anytime Anywhere) Kit targeted at training coaches, families and students in CPR so that they can respond effectively in an emergency,” said Mr Ho Sun Yee, CEO of the Singapore Heart Foundation.
Sports Safety Implementation Plans
- The three stages of the plan will be rolled out simultaneously over the next three years.
The first stage of the implementation plan, THINK SAFE, is to concentrate on raising safety awareness and commitment among the public, focusing on individual responsibility. This includes considerable effort to educate the public that individuals have to assume personal responsibility for their safety and health while engaging in sporting activities. They have to listen to their body and know their limits.
Primarily, focus would be on proactively sharing the safety recommendations and guidelines put forth by the Sports Safety Committee. For example, the SSC will promote the ‘PAR-Q’, a self-administered pre-participation questionnaire, as part of the community outreach and public education efforts at its sports facilities. SAFRA has also joined in implementing the PAR-Q questionnaire in its events.
Said Ms Agnes Eu, Deputy CEO, Corporate Services, SAFRA National Service Association, “As the co-organiser of major sporting events, safety of our participants is paramount. SAFRA has instituted compulsory PAR-Q questionnaire, a requirement for all pre-race preparations. The overall message of such a measure is to ensure that the public takes individual responsibility for its own safety. For endurance sports, being in optimum condition is critical, hence the health declaration ensures that participants are aware of the importance of being fully fit before being involved in such activities. We also want our visitors to our clubhouses to enjoy a safe and fun time and be reassured that their safety is well looked after by our team of CPR and AED certified personnel, manning the various facilities.”
Guides will be developed and distributed to the community as well as event organisers. The Sport SAFE U guide encourages individuals to be responsible for their own safety by providing four simple rules for sports safety - ‘S’ for screening (i.e. use a PAR-Q); ‘A’ for adequate hydration, ‘F’ for fair play and injury prevention and ‘E’ for environment. The Sports SAFE Club Guide is for event organisers and will feature plans for developing and implementing a sports safety plan and system. For example, it will include checklist to assess club/event’s safety practices, step-by-step approach in planning for sports safety and holding regular emergency drills.
With regard to water safety, the National Water Safety Council (NWSC) discourages non-swimmers from participating in water sports. The council is also working on a publicity campaign to raise water safety awareness amongst the general public. In addition NWSC has engaged the services of the Royal Life Saving Society-Western Australia (RLS) and Singapore Life Saving Society (SLSS) as consultants for the Learn-to-Swim and National Swimming Survival Awards (NASSA) integration project. Secretariat NWSC is currently reviewing the safety guidelines of water sports NSAs and will be checking with international standards for compliance.
SSC has also set up a Safety Excellence Centre at Jalan Besar Sports & Recreation Centre (SRC), mainly to allow for a dedicated training location to practice Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and AED skills as 96% of SSC staff are CPR & AED certified to date. In future, the centre may be made accessible to the NSAs, schools and members of the public to learn about safety and have hands-on CPR and AED training.
- The second phase, PLAY SAFE, is to encourage NSAs, private sports clubs and event organisers to have safety guidelines and management system that is similar to the Safety Management System formulated by SSC. The components in the system can be broadly classified into 3 categories, namely,
- What is a Safety Management System;
- How to Develop & Implement it;
- Checks & Balances for the system.
A guidebook will be developed to assist the NSAs and event organisers to plan their respective Safety Management System.
With shortage of manpower resources, a key issue raised by NSAs during the consultation process, the SSC has also roped in the ITE to support NSAs to develop and enhance the safe practices by getting their students to volunteer their time to help out at NSAs and their sports events.
Another key issue identified by the Working Committee was the lack of risk assessment capabilities within the NSAs and event organisers. Risk assessment is an on-going process. Everyone in their everyday lives in everyday situation performs it. Essentially, guides and checklist assist individuals and organisers to formalise thoughts and document such processes. Therefore, risk assessment courses help to equip NSAs and event organisers with the skills to assess hazards and provide mitigation for sports events. First few courses were conducted in March and August this year, and subsequent courses are planned for the later part of this year.
NSAs and event organisers are encouraged to be CPR and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) certified. NSAs will soon be required to have at least two of its staff CPR and AED certified. The SSC has taken the lead by deploying more than 60 AEDs at all SSC’s public sports facilities with all SRC frontline staff as well as HQ staff being certified in CPR and AED.
Networking sessions will be organized to share best practices and adopt the recommendations by the Sports Safety Committee effectively. To date, five sessions have already been held to share best safety practices with organisers and the public. Under the Sports Safety Plan, NSAs are encouraged to conduct sports safety clinics in schools to promote and inculcate a safety culture amongst the youth.
Said Mr Goh Ek Piang, Deputy Director, Co-Curricular Activities, Education Programmes Division, Ministry of Education, “MOE supports the Sports Safety Plan and is committed to ensure that activities and events in our schools are safe for all students and staff. Adequate measures have been put in place in our schools to ensure that safety guidelines are adhered to at all times. We welcome NSAs to join in our efforts to reinforce safety and make it an important part of their overall sporting experience.”
The third phase, STAY SAFE, encourages individuals, sports associations and event organisers to continue observing safe practices. During this phase, a central repository, as well as an on-line reporting system, has been proposed to be set up to capture incident and injury data for trend analysis. With all this information and data gathered, better analysis could be done with a broader sample size (with inputs on injury data etc from NSAs, other sports organisations and sports events organizers) and thus, allowing us to better formulate strategies and campaign to target these areas.
There will also be a safety portal featuring a one-stop centre for any sports safety information, reports, advisories, case studies and lessons learnt. Inspectorates will be established to conduct safety audits in the future. This stage may take some time to materialise due to several considerations, reviews and training required to equip these inspectors with the necessary skills and competencies. Incentives and awards will be introduced to individuals and sports-related organisations for championing best safe practices.
For media enquiries, please contact:
Manager, Corporate Communications
Singapore Sports Council
DID: 6500 5236
Fax: 6346 1842
Deputy Director, Corporate Communications
Singapore Sports Council
DID: 6500 5164
Fax: 6346 1842
About Singapore Sports Council
The Singapore Sports Council (SSC) is Singapore’s lead agency tasked with developing sports in Singapore. Our vision is to create a Sporting Singapore where Sports is a way of life. SSC aims to develop sports champions and create enjoyable sporting experiences for Singapore through the three strategic thrusts of cultivating a sporting culture, achieving sports excellence and creating a vibrant sports industry. Formed on 1 October 1973, SSC is a statutory board under the purview of the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports. SSC’s address on the world wide web: www.ssc.gov.sg
About the Sports Safety Working Committee
The Sports Safety Working Committee was formed to work on the implementation of the recommendations put forth by the Sports Safety Committee. The members of the working committee include the following:
- Singapore Sports Council (SSC) - Chair Organisation
- Co-Curricular Activities Branch (CCAB, MOE)
- Health Promotion Board (HPB)
- KK Children’s and Women’s Hospital (KK Hospital)
- Ministry of Education (MOE)
- Nanyang Technological University (NTU)
- National Parks Board (NPB)
- National Sailing Centre (NSC)
- People’s Association (PA)
- Public Utilities Board (PUB)
- SAFRA National Service Association
- Singapore Heart Foundation (SHF)
- Singapore Police Force (SPF)
- Triathlon Association of Singapore (TAS)
*Institute of Technical Education (ITE) has joined in our efforts, but ITE is not part of the Working Committee.