9. Earlier this year, SportCares launched Saturday Night Lights (SNL), a football programme that provides free coaching and workshops for youth aged 12 to 20 years old. The programme has drawn support from the grassroots and the corporate world.
10. To date, Saturday Night Lights have benefitted almost 300 youths. The Saturday Night Lights "Rising Stars" Awards were given out tonight to recognise the players who have grown through our training programme as well as the volunteers who have helped them do it.
11. From its first centre at Jurong Stadium, Saturday Night Lights is set to expand to two more locations in other parts of the island by early of next year.
Annex A - Saturday Night Lights Rising Star Awards
In Recognition of Great Sportsmanship (U-14/O-14)
This award recognises the good attitude, teamwork and leadership displayed on the pitch by players during Saturday Night Lights.
Muhammad Redha bin Abdul Halim (U-14)
At just 13 years of age, Muhammad Redha shows a maturity well beyond his years on the pitch at Saturday Night Lights. Coming from a family of six, Redha knows how to get along with people, putting his personal wishes aside in favour of what's best for the team. Throughout training and the matches, Redha treats his teammates and opponents with courtesy. He never takes a 'winning at all costs' attitude towards the sport. He consistently takes the coach's advice to heart as part of his commitment to helping the team perform well. He has a great work ethic, which is being seen in school as well; he is just two points away from rising out of the Normal (Technical) Stream. Long term, with his inherent understanding of the big picture, his self-discipline and his love of sport, Redha has great potential to become a coach in the future.
Sheikh Fadhil (O-14)
Currently serving his National Service requirements, 22-year-old Sheikh Fadhil has emerged as an inspiration among the boys at Saturday Night Lights. After some troubled teenage years, Fadhil is committed to encouraging his friends and teammates to live a better life through sports. He serves as a youth leader for the Beacon of Life Football Academy in Taman Jurong. At Saturday Night Lights, he brings professional commitment to the strength and conditioning sessions and leadership to the friendly matches. He actively counsels the team to stay true to the SNL values of discipline in thinking and action. Indeed, Fadhil is always the epitome of discipline and calm, regardless of how high the stakes. One of the fastest runners in the new CareRunners programme by SportCares, Fadhil shows the same leadership on the track as he does on the pitch. He is the third of five children in the family, and he describes his mother as the inspiration in his life.
|In Recognition of Great Football Skills (U-14/O-14)
This award recognises the consistent display and development of great football skills by players during Saturday Night Lights at our home ground turf of Jurong Stadium.
Sean Ng (U-14)
Shuqun Secondary student Sean quickly became one of the bright lights at Saturday Night Lights at Jurong Stadium. Consistent in training, Sean is a joy to watch during the friendlies, displaying good ball control, speed and teamwork. He says he is more disciplined since he started with SNL, something he credits to the holistic approach of the programme. His parents and two siblings have also noticed a positive change in Sean. "It has changed my opinion on so many things, and I have become a much better person because of my playing at Saturday Night Lights."
Suhandika bin Sapie (O-14)
17-year-old Suhandika, aka as Andika, is proving to be a versatile footballer at Saturday Night Lights. The ITE College West student has rarely missed a session so it has been easy to see the progress in his skills on pitch. He typically plays right wing, but his coach has praised his ability and willingness to try other positions to help the team. On top of his versatility, he has good ball skills and speed. Equally important, he shows an exceptional awareness of the game, allowing him to not only control the ball but the overall play as well. His teammates can always rely on him to make that crucial pass to achieve a much-needed play. As "the man in the family" with three sisters, Andika says that his friends have inspired him to do well in football while his inspiration in life comes from his mother.
|In Recognition of Great Commitment (Players) (U-14/O-14)
This award recognises the players' spirit of volunteerism and their commitment to SportCares programming overall.
Muhd Shahfakhry bin Mohd Faizal (U-14)
At 13-years-old, Shahfakhry is one of the youngest and smallest players at Saturday Night Lights. He is a bubbly, playful lad, according to his Mum. However his commitment to the SportCares programme is easily on par with those of the older boys. Indeed, his love of football is bringing out the best in his character. He has shown great tenacity and adaptability during training, and he accepts the coach's decision without question as to whether he is playing or sitting out a match. He is ready to help with any chore that arises as part of SNL, including cleaning up the stadium at the end of a session.
Muhammad Aizat bin Md Husain (O-14)
A rare blend of physical confidence and personal humility, Aizat has been one of SportCares' most active young ambassadors since the programme started in March 2013. He has represented SportCares at press conferences and networking sessions. He has taken attendance and ushered guests. He has been a volunteer player for Team Media in a football friendly with Team SSC. Even though he was fasting at the time, Aizat played virtually the full match, scoring the only goal for Team Media in the second half of the game. He graduated from Yusok Ishak Secondary School earlier this year and had the honour of being chosen as valedictorian for his graduating class. He is currently enrolled at Singapore Polytechnic to study tourism and hospitality management but hopes to be accepted by Republic Poly to study Sports and Leisure Management. He currently works part-time as a waiter. His family, which includes his parents, a younger brother and two younger sisters, are very proud of Aizat's achievements.
Pavithran s/o Mahendran (O-14)
16-year-old Pavi is always among the first Saturday Night Lights footballers to volunteer to give back to the community. For Pavi, sport was initially a means of avoiding the wrong company. However he has quickly become a role model for all the football players. He is a volunteer referee at the matches, demonstrating fair play in all his calls. He supports his teammates on and off the pitch, including make the all-important morning phone calls to ensure that everyone makes the bus on time for camps and workshops. He runs on a weekly basis with the new CareRunners programme, which will be used to work with underprivileged children in Singapore. He has volunteered at several SportCares events, including the corporate networking sessions. He has also contributed to the mural and art exhibition being produced by the Beacon of Life Football Academy for the Taman Jurong Museum. Pavi has handled himself with poise whether he is meeting with people from the community, from the business sector or the political world. He holds great promise as a future leader for SportCares.
As the youngest child in a family of eight, Sundram has always been driven to excel in sport. In the past, this quest for excellence sometimes landed him in trouble as he lost his temper in times of stress. However, he is determined not to let a troubled past stand in the way of a bright future. He lives with his mother and brother in Henderson and plays football at every opportunity that comes his way. Since joining Saturday Night Lights, he has demonstrated greater awareness and compassion for the needs and difficulties experienced by others on and off the football field. Only 15-years-old, Sundram has risen to the challenge of volunteering and giving back to society. He has done ushering and registration at corporate networking events such as Singapore Pools' Football with a Heart. In a friendly with an U15 team representing Standard Chartered Bank, Sundram played a responsible game, allowing opportunities for the younger players to score. A reflection of his appreciation for SportCares and the SNL community, Sundram has never missed a session of Saturday Night Lights. With continuing guidance from the SportCares coaches and volunteers, Sundram will likely mature into a strong, values-driven coach for other underprivileged and at-risk children and youth.
|In Recognition of Great Commitment (Volunteers)
This award recognises the spirit of volunteerism and commitment to SportCares programming overall.
Asiah binte Rahmat and Mohd Rafi bin Mohd Amin
Husband and wife team, Mohd Rafi and Asiah binte Rahmat from St John's Ambulance volunteer their time and expertise as paramedics at every Saturday Night Lights Programme. Some sessions turn into a family affair as they bring along their 21 year-old son to help with first aid duties. The power couple are more than a reassuring presence at the stadium: They have tended to everything from blisters to broken bones. Rafi also conducts first aid workshops at SNL on common football injuries to improve the boys' self sufficiency in taking care of themselves. They know from experience that injuries are most likely to occur towards the end of the friendlies - when the boys are pushing themselves to win the match. Thus, Asiah and Rafi are among the first to arrive and the last to leave at night.
Kim Whye Kee
Through the Saturday Night Lights programme, grassroots volunteers combine football and friendship to keep at-risk youth on a straight path. Whye Kee is one of 10 regular volunteers who come every Saturday Night to the Old Jurong Stadium to play football and mentor the kids. Whye Kee leads Taman Jurong's Beacon of Life Academy (BOLA), which provides sport, art and life skills support to the needy and the at-risk. An ex-offender for gang-related activities, Whye Kee has since turned his life around and is determined to keep youth from following his old path into prison. With his hard-nosed honesty and integrity, he is both an inspiration and a cautionary tale for boys on the cusp of becoming young men.
Lim Jun Yi
No detail was too small and no task too big for energetic student Lim Jun Yi. Currently studying at Republic Polytechnic, Jun Yi was a familiar face at every event SportCares fielded a team, as a competitor, a mentor or simply an information booth. As our first intern, Jun Yi brought fresh ideas, enthusiasm and energy to every challenge we faced. He created certificates of merit, designed jerseys, pumped footballs and rallied volunteer supporters. His good cheer set the tone for every Saturday Night Lights session at Jurong Stadium - a legacy that continues.
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