Sport Singapore launches Play It Forward
Sport Singapore launches Play It Forward
Youth with the passion to volunteer and coach young players at the newly formed ActiveSG Football Academy can now do so by Playing it Forward.
Play It Forward is a fully subsidised certification programme by Sport Singapore (SportSG) and supported by the National Youth Council (NYC) that will enable aspiring youth coaches to gain the necessary knowledge and skills to become a Volunteer Coaching Assistant at the ActiveSG Sports Academies and Clubs starting with the ActiveSG Football Academy.
In return, a one-year coaching experience awaits under the mentorship of established senior coaches where they will play key roles in a nationwide football programme offering greater access and opportunities for Singaporean boys and girls to play the beautiful game.
Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, launched the initiative this evening at the latest engagement session in the series of SGfuture conversations organised by SportSG at Velocity@Novena Mall.
Focusing on the theme “Future of Play”, participants in three previous engagement sessions had contributed ideas on how Singapore can use sport and play to create strong and caring communities. Play It Forward is the first initiative to have been co-created by the participants at the sessions, with the brain-storming continuing at this evening’s session. Among the many ideas garnered, common threads included sports volunteerism, the engagement of youth through sport and how youth can help to contribute to a cohesive and caring society.
Said Minister Fu, “We have received many ideas from SGfuture participants on how we can create strong, diverse and caring communities through sport. Building on these ideas, these participants have developed a Play It Forward initiative to train volunteers who can help boost the coaching scene in Singapore. This effort is highly commendable, and shows a way forward in how we can develop more programmes together for Singaporeans and Singapore.”
With an emphasis on youth, all males and females from the age of 16 are eligible to sign up to Play it Forward. Among the participants in the crowd this evening were several young footballers from SportCares Foundation’s Saturday Night Lights programme. After three years of volunteering with SportCares, these youth are ready to take their commitment to a higher level and are eager to sign up for Play It Forward.
The first intake is scheduled to undergo interviews with Academy Principal Aleksandar Duric before embarking on the certification courses and workshops. The target is to have up to at least 50 sign-ups ahead of the start of the ActiveSG Football Academy later this year.
“The National Youth Council (NYC) is excited to partner SportSG to build ruggedness, confidence and good values in our youth through more opportunities to learn and enjoy sports, starting with this Play It Forward initiative in the new Football Academy. Sport can be inclusive and bring all kinds of youth with common interests together, and the shared experiences on the field will not only hone skills but teach teamwork, mutual support and sportsmanship, attributes which when carried outside the sporting field will lead to a more resilient and cohesive society. The programme also allows older youth and young adults to volunteer and be trained as assistant coaches - they will need to be role models for the younger players. We encourage our youths and young adults to participate and volunteer!” said Mr David Chua, CEO of the National Youth Council.
Said Mr Lim Teck Yin, CEO of SportSG, “As ActiveSG rolls out more programmes for our children and youth through its academies and clubs, volunteers will play a crucial role in building capacity to enhance the quality of these programmes. The multiple skills for mentoring, chaperoning, safety awareness, assisting in sports instruction, facility care, videography and many more would bring a special texture of care and passion that ultimately epitomises the spirit of One Team Singapore. At this time, we are delighted to have the support of the National Youth Council for this meaningful journey and I’m also looking forward to more Singaporeans coming forward not only to volunteer and give back, but in the process, to also be enriched in their personal learning and life.”