Singapore, 9 November 2012 - Reducing the drop-off in sports participation after full-time education; developing integrated pathways to create sports champions; creating more opportunities for regular sports participation at all stages in life; rooting out bad sportsmanship while inculcating values and building character - these are just a few of the outcomes the newly formed Sports Pathways Committee (SPC) aims to achieve in the coming years.
2. One of the 20 recommendations under Vision 2030, the current 11-member SPC consists of key stakeholders across the value chain in the education, defence and community sectors.
3. The SPC will focus on coordinating and integrating policies and programmes across organisations. It will cover, amongst other things:
- Developing integrated pathways to create sports champions
- rationalising and optimising national competition frameworks and schedules
-developing a national talent identification and development framework
- integrating the work of National Sports Associations with the school sports system
- introducing a more integrated academic and sporting curriculum in schools that allows more students to achieve both academic and sporting excellence
- Inculcating values and character through sport
- Introducing National Standards for Youth Sport (see details below) for youth 18 years and under to enjoy sports and grow through participation in sports
- Introducing programmes in schools that will promote the values of resilience, fair play, teamwork, leadership, sportsmanship and a winning spirit
- Creating more opportunities for recreational sports in schools
- Including a review of how to leverage and enhance existing programmes such as
- Sports Education Programme (*1)
- Super Sports Clubs (*2)
- Coordinating the development of sports spaces
- Optimising the design, development and usage of publicly funded sports spaces for use by schools and the public
4. "There are many plus points in our sports system today that provide opportunities for youth to play sport recreationally and excel to the elite level where they can serve as an inspiration to others and build national pride. We are also beginning to better appreciate the value that sport can bring to inculcate positive values and build character. Thus, an opportunity exists to harness and integrate the collective strengths of all key stakeholder groups in the value chain to give us exponential returns in the years to come. This will ultimately result in more people, in all age groups, having more opportunities to participate in sport regularly," said Mr Lim Teck Yin, the Chairman of the Sports Pathways Committee and CEO of SSC.
National Standards Lay Foundation for Youth to Grow and Develop through Sports
5. In line with the objectives of the SPC and Vision 2030, the Singapore Sports Council (SSC) launched today the National Standards for Youth Sports (NSYS) which would lay the foundation for youth to have an enriching sporting experience.
6. Every youth should be given the opportunity to have positive experiences in sports as it will lead towards a pathway for lifelong sports participation. The NSYS aims to provide a healthy, wholesome and encouraging environment for youth to enjoy sport. The NSYS principles and standards are designed to address issues in sports such as abuse, favouritism, cheating and poor sportsmanship.
7. The NSYS is a framework featuring three principles and nine standards that illustrate the behavioural guidelines for everyone involved in youth sports.
8. The first principle 'Place the youth's interest before yours' emphasises the provision of equal opportunity for youth to play in a safe and non-threatening environment. The second principle 'Be a role model' stresses the importance of every individual being actively involved and using sport as a channel to inculcate values in youth. The last principle "Have fun, winning isn?t everything" highlights that winning is part of the sporting journey rather than the final destination, whereby every sporting experience for the youth should be challenging, fun, memorable and supports their holistic development.
9. From September 2011, SSC conducted a series of workshops for more than 600 coaches and sports instructors to raise awareness of the NSYS among key stakeholders, including sports officials, coaches and parents in addition to youth. Jurong West Primary School participated in a pilot project from July to September 2012 where 1,700 of its students were introduced to NSYS through their assembly sessions, interactive games and classroom activities. The supporting materials, which comprise activity books and coloring sheets, have been designed to appeal to primary school children. SSC will also explore introducing similar materials that cater to other age groups.
10. "Sport has the power to instill important values such as resilience, fair play and teamwork in our youth. With well-designed programmes and good people committed to NSYS, it will prepare people for success not just in sports, but in life," said Ms Indranee Rajah, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Law, who was the Guest-of-Honour at the launch. "The NSYS ties in well with MOE?s focus on values and character education as the standards facilitate the holistic development of our youth through sports. With NSYS, we hope to encourage the true spirit of sport among youth and the people who influence them most."
11. Emphasising the importance of values and character education through sports, Mr Richard Seow, Chairman, Singapore Sports Council, said, "Given our changing world, our young people need values that will help them navigate an uncertain future. The NSYS imparts important life lessons for primary school children such as responsible decision-making and a respect for others. The NSYS also underscores our efforts to shape the overall education and development of our youth through sports under Vision 2030."
12. "The key principles and standards of NSYS teach our students to uphold our school's core values of respect, integrity, self-discipline and excellence through everyday sports situations. These valuable lessons will undoubtedly serve them well in their pursuit of excellence beyond their academic success," said Mrs Yap-Ng Hwee Heng, Principal of Jurong West Primary School.
13. An online guide for parents was also recently developed to highlight the roles and involvement of parents in their children's journey through sports. SSC will continue to work with the MOE to reach out to students and coaches of Co-Curricular Activities to promote the principles and standards of NSYS.
(*1)The Sports Education Programme (SEP) is a collaborative partnership between Singapore Sports Council (SSC) and the Ministry of Education (MOE). Schools eligible for SEP are Primary, Secondary, JCs, Centralised Institution and Special Education Schools. Under SEP, each school is provided with a $10,000 dollar-to-dollar matching grant for them to take up sports programmes from an endorsed list.
(*2) A recommendation under Vision 2030, the Super Sports Clubs will be a home base for individuals, families and the community to gather, learn, train, and compete in a range of sports, and get together for social or business purposes. The Super Sports Clubs will provide affordable community-relevant programming and coaching for all skill levels and age groups, including fundamental movement skills for young children and modified sports for seniors. The community can enjoy spontaneous play, compete in league-based competitions or host one-off sporting events. The Clubs will also welcome corporate sports teams and will prepare members or teams to compete in national/open championships. The pilot concept for the Super Sports Clubs will be implemented in the first half of 2013.