SSC And SMU Join Forces To Instill Values In Youth Through Sports

27 May 2013

Singapore, 27 May 2013 - Using the power of sport to teach youth important life skills and to develop their character and leadership capabilities, the Singapore Sports Council (SSC) and Singapore Management University (SMU) today launched the 'Game For Life' Toolkit and LifeLessons respectively at the inaugural Leadership Symposium 2013.

2. Based on the 'Future Ready through Sport' strategic thrust of the Vision 2030 recommendation, the Leadership Symposium 2013 serves as a platform to promote the development of character and leadership skills through sport.
'Game For Life' Toolkit
3. The 'Game For Life' Toolkit comprises the 'character and leadership through sport' Framework and a 'Game For Life: 25 Journeys' book, which chronicles the transformation of 25 ordinary lives made extraordinary through sports.

4. The Framework features the use of game activities and specific role-playing actions that are deliberately designed for the learning and development of performance, social and moral values and attributes. This enables training, education and coaching professionals to conveniently create "teachable moments", where learning values can be easily infused into any sporting experience for every individual, without increasing activity time.

5. Emphasising the conscious creation of opportunities in sport to inculcate positive values and attributes in youth, Mr Lim Teck Yin, Chief Executive Officer, Singapore Sports Council, said, "We all recognise the power of sport and are mindful that through the intentional and deliberate design of sporting activities to infuse character and leadership values, much more can be achieved. Sport develops the whole person - body, mind and spirit, and we should strive to create opportunities for character growth, both for the individual and the team, rather than leave it to chance. Purposefully designed sport lessons and programmes are able to do this. They provide an optimal social environment for our youth to acquire desirable values and attributes that cultivate good character and good citizenship that will prepare them for a successful future."

6. Between June 2012 and May 2013, more than 450 individuals have benefitted from the Framework's pilot programme through their Physical Education lessons and sporting activities. They comprise teachers, student leaders and students from Admiralty Primary School, Evergreen Secondary School, Shuqun Secondary School, Tampines Secondary School, Temasek Secondary School and SMU. ITE College East and West will also participate in the pilot programme later this year. The two North Zone Centres of Excellence for National Education - Admiralty Primary School and Evergreen Secondary School - have further pledged to carry the Framework through to 120 schools in the next two years.

7. "The Framework is easy to adapt, easy to buy-in to and thus sustainable. It is good to know that there is something we can use that is workable and helps the whole school in values education," said Mrs Carol Lim, Principal of Evergreen Secondary School.

8. Mr Shahril Bin Mohamed Jalani, physical educator at Admiralty Primary School, added, "The Framework helps us formalise the learning of values. We can customise it to our school's needs and infuse character development into our PE lessons. It helps us with our lesson planning and we are more aware of the 'teachable moments' on values and character."

9. Going forward, SSC plans to take the 'Game For Life' Toolkit to corporate Singapore. Next month, several organisations will take part in a pilot programme to use sport for workforce integration, teamwork development, productivity, and organisation core values inculcation.

10. This initiative is a follow-up from the Memorandum of Understanding between SSC and SMU in February 2012 to promote sport and explore possibilities of working together in sport-related initiatives.
LifeLessons to develop life-long skills and attitudes
11. SMU will be launching SMU LifeLessons for students, which is a values-based out-of-classroom programme developed in tandem with the 4-year undergraduate academic programmes in SMU.

12. SMU LifeLessons aims to define, prepare, and inspire the SMU student to be her/his very best for others. SMU will be the first university in Singapore to launch a formal programme that looks at values-education through its many platforms.

13. These platforms includes SMU student's participation in the 80-hour community service initiatives, orientation camps, minimum 10 weeks' compulsory internship programme, as well as student exchange opportunities, sports clubs, arts groups, special interest groups, and other student associations and events.

14. Professor Arnoud De Meyer, SMU President said, "SMU has always provided a plethora of out-of-classroom opportunities that augment the rigorous academic programmes delivered by our six schools. Our students learn many other soft skills through co-curricular activities, events, internships, the compulsory 80-hour community service, as well as the overseas exchanges."

15. "Today, we take yet another significant step towards making that holistic education more deliberate, more structured. With the launch of the SMU LifeLessons Programme, we signal the importance of a values-based education that must be the glue that binds all other learning. Beginning with the freshmen and selected student groups in the new academic year this August, SMU will systematically develop the programme to be rolled out completely by 2015. Through SMU LifeLessons, we aim to inspire our students to be the best that they can ever be, not just for themselves, but for others," added Professor De Meyer.

16. Mr. Edmund Koh, Country Head, UBS Singapore said, "Increasingly, the world is getting more complex and the challenges to leadership, more daunting. To remain ahead of the game, Singapore is going to require her people to be grounded in values and make decisions out of moral conviction. It is encouraging that SMU is embarking on this journey to prepare the leaders of the future, and this step is a significant milestone in university education."

17. SMU LifeLessons comprises 3 years of structured education through one's participation in out-of classroom activities in the first three years of university life, focused on the self, self and one's team/group/immediate neighbours, and self and the larger community or society, respectively. An additional year is built in for selected students in the fourth year for the development of facilitation and coaching skills.

18. SMU LifeLessons is values-based, and goes beyond sports and values. That is, the programme seeks to develop the sensitivity and sensibility around values being the under-pinning force of our decisions and choices. Soft skills such as people management, motivating teams and managing conflict, event organisation will also be taught against the backdrop of values.

19. The programme will be opened to the first year students (incoming cohort) in year 2013 (AY2013/2014) and rolled-out in phases.


For media enquiries, please contact:

Bridgitte Lee
Senior Executive, Media Relations
Singapore Sports Council
Tel: +65 6500 5249

Kong Hwee Ting
Senior Manager, Corporate Communications
Singapore Management University
Tel: +65 6808 5238
  • Annex A: 'Game For Life' Toolkit
  • Annex B: LifeLessons

Annex A: 'Game For Life' Toolkit
Created by the Singapore Sports Council, the 'Game For Life' Toolkit comprises the 'character and leadership through sport' Framework, and the 'Game For Life: 25 Journeys' book.

The Toolkit is an extension of Vision 2030, to discover how sport could best serve the nation in the coming decades and to inspire Singaporeans to live better through sport.

'Character and leadership through sport' Framework:

Given the need to be intentional and purposeful in inculcating character values and attributes, the Framework provides a blueprint for developing character in sporting environments. It is a rubric that contains a practical approach to enhancing character development efforts.

The Framework has broadly-designed lesson plans for coaches and sport instructors to customise and devise an approach to performance and character development.

It constitutes three elements that have to be integrated and implemented for effectiveness:

1. identifying the values and attributes of good character

2. establishing the platforms (Game and Sport Activities, and/or Role Learning) through which desirable values can be inculcated and developed; and

3. executing a purposeful Check-Act-Reinforce With action plan to yield "teachable moments" for intentional teaching and effective values development.

'Game For Life: 25 Journeys':

A complementary resource book on leadership and character development, the book aims to demonstrate how sports can shape an individual's life and the extent that it has contributed to his or her success in both the sporting and professional fields.

It is a collection of 25 personal stories of Singaporeans, whose lives have been indelibly shaped by the sports they play or compete in.

These inspiring and values-driven stories are set to motivate readers to discover and experience the power of sport in shaping lives.
Annex B: SMU LifeLessons - Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is SMU LifeLessons?

SMU LifeLessons is a values-based out-of-classroom education programme developed for the 4-year undergraduate course at the Singapore Management University (SMU).

It comprises 3 years of structured education through one's participation in out-of classroom activities in the first three years of university life, focused on the self, self and one's team/group/immediate neighbours, and self and the larger community or society, respectively. An additional year is built in for selected students in the fourth year for the development of facilitation and coaching skills.

2. Why are values important?

The world around us is changing at a very fast pace, with technological advancements providing opportunities for people to relate to one another in ways never before possible. Yet certain issues remained unsolved - poverty, growing income gaps, inter-cultural differences, human trafficking, environmental concerns. Recently, events in the world of finance and banking have cast a shadow of doubt on the integrity of the systems and its people. In Singapore, we are facing the challenges of rising costs, an ageing population, and even the manner in which we relate to foreigners who come to make Singapore their home.

These issues call for a deeper understanding of our values, both personally and as part of a larger community. There is a need, more than ever before, for us to anchor our values to make better decisions, to position Singapore as one of the best places to live, work, and play. In our pursuit to be competitive and the best in the world, there is a greater need for us to bring out the best in ourselves and be the best for the world.

3. Why do values need to be taught?

Recent events both locally and internationally in various sectors (e.g., banking, procurement processes) indicate a need for professionals to be imbued with strong values. Values such as integrity, loyalty, trust, and others, cannot be taken for granted, and are increasingly under-valued in a complex and fast-changing environment. Even in the sporting world, the Lance Armstrong saga has rocked common belief that "sports build character". The need for values to be taught (and not left to chance to be "caught" is well-documented in research. Contextual, real-world experiences and dilemmas have been identified as one of the better platforms for learning to take place, but only if deliberate efforts are made to bring out lessons learnt.

4. Why does SMU want to embark on SMU LifeLessons?

As a premier university in Asia, SMU provides a holistic undergraduate education. The student life experience has been integral to the SMU's assertion that her graduates are well-prepared to meet the challenges of the future. SMU is now embarking on SMU LifeLessons to provide a framework to this out-of-classroom education which is values-based, with the intention of better-defining the students on values and a sense of purpose, preparing them better for the future, and inspiring them to be their best for themselves and for others.

5. Which values will SMU LifeLessons focus on?

At the very heart of SMU LifeLessons is the identification and understanding of each individual's core values, and why these are important lessons in life, for life. Early in the first year, students will be challenged to articulate their personal values, purpose, vision, and mission in life, and understand the implications of these in the choices they make including their career, relationships, and other decisions.

Apart from one's personal values, the SMU CIRCLE values (Commitment, Integrity, Responsibility, Collegiality, Leadership, and Excellence) will be shared.

Throughout the three-year programme, students will engage in deeper discussions on the meaning and relevance of these values (both the personal and SMU values) to others (one's team or group, family, club, neighbours, the larger community and society).

6. Is SMU LifeLessons all about values?

No. SMU LifeLessons is values-based. That is, the programme seeks to develop the sensitivity and sensibility around values being the under-pinning force of our decisions and choices. Soft skills such as people management, motivating teams and managing conflict, event organisation will also be taught, against the backdrop of values.

7. Who will be delivering SMU LifeLessons?

SMU Office of Student Life (OSL) will spearhead the delivery of SMU LifeLessons. Several individuals (including faculty) and alumni will also be invited to form a pool of facilitators, in the coaching and facilitation module.

SMU will also ride on our partnerships with other agencies and institutions (e.g., the Singapore Sports Council) to offer parts of SMU LifeLessons. SMU has inked an MOU with SSC last year (February), which provides a framework for collaboration to promote sport and explore possibilities of working together in sport-related initiatives.

8. What does an SMU student get out of SMU LifeLessons? Can he secure a better-paying job?

The SMU student will be able to reap returns based on his/her efforts committed to this programme. The programme does not have examinations or assessment grades and does not contribute to the student's Grade Point Average (GPA), presently. The onus lies with the student to participate, read, and engage others in discussions structured for the programme. Through his/her active participation in CCAs, lessons in life and lessons for life will surface because of the deliberate nature of the programme.

At the end of the programme, students will receive a transcript that documents the learning through SMU LifeLessons, and not just a participation record.

Although there is no guarantee of a better-paying job as an outcome of being on the SMU LifeLessons programme, we have noted that, increasingly, employers are asking for graduates who are better-grounded, who can face the challenges of the future and lead others there. Graduates with these skill sets and experiences are more likely to be emplaced.

9. When will LifeLessons start?

SMU LifeLessons will be opened to the first year students (incoming cohort) in year 2013 (AY2013/2014). The programme will be rolled-out in phases.

10. What does a student do on SMU LifeLessons?

SMU will look at the values-education through its many current platforms. These platforms include SMU participation in the 80-hour community service initiatives, orientation camps, minimum 10 weeks' compulsory internship programme, as well as student exchange opportunities, CCA groups and other student associations and events.

Through these platforms, structured conversations around the experience, supported by models, articles and other reading materials, will be crafted to bring out the values education. Students will be encouraged to do journal reflections, read the articles, and contribute in discussions.

As an illustration, groups of SMU students will be embarking on different community service projects. As the 80-hour compulsory Community Service experience is unique to SMU and has a reach to all students, this will be the most appropriate platform to operationalise a values-based programme. The community service experiences will allow an SMU student to derive different types of learning through the various groups of service experiences.

Students could undertake a self-reflection process to anchor one's values and purpose of involvement. In this regard, a series of questions could be asked and discussed as a group, or recorded in individual journals.

For example, different groups of students can engage in community service projects which range from helping the elderly clean and spruce up their homes. The key learning here is to imbue the value of humility and selflessness, and to appreciate the livelihood of those who do these tasks on a daily basis.

A second group of service experiences could involve tasks that meet the needs of one's immediate circle (team or group) or neighbours. Examples include raising funds for a nearby welfare group, teaching a group of disadvantaged youths a sport or instrument, or entertaining a group of elderly residents at a welfare home. In this regard, one idea is to focus volunteer service efforts to SMU's immediate neighbours.

A third group of service experiences could focus on larger community or global causes and issues (e.g., poverty, hunger, human trafficking). These efforts can be overseas projects in the ASEAN region and other parts of the world.
Finally, for selected fourth-year students, some hours of community service could be set aside for the purpose of coaching or facilitating the juniors.

A descriptive assessment in the form of active participation, demonstration of reflection and journaling, will provide an indication of learning, after the project is completed.
About the Singapore Sports Council
The Singapore Sports Council aims to transform the nation through sport, by inspiring people and uniting communities. As the national sports agency, we work with a vast network of public-private-and people sector partners to create access, opportunities and capabilities for individuals to live better through sports. As detailed in the Vision 2030 Live Better Through Sports recommendations, our mandate goes beyond driving participation and winning medals. At SSC, we use sport to create resilient, tenacious people, an appreciation for teamwork, a commitment to purpose, strong united communities and national pride. 

To find out more, visit our websites and

Follow SSC on Twitter at: and Facebook at:

For a range of photographs, visit
About the Singapore Management University
A premier university in Asia, the Singapore Management University (SMU) is internationally recognised for its world class research and distinguished teaching. Established in 2000, SMU's mission is to generate leading edge research with global impact and produce broad-based, creative and entrepreneurial leaders for the knowledge-based economy. It is known for its interactive and technologically-enabled pedagogy of seminar-style teaching in small class sizes.

Home to about 8,000 students, SMU comprises six schools: School of Accountancy, Lee Kong Chian School of Business, School of Economics, School of Information Systems, School of Law and School of Social Sciences, offering a wide range of bachelor's, master's and PhD degree programmes in various disciplines.

With an emphasis on generating rigorous, high impact cross-disciplinary research that addresses Asian issues of global relevance, SMU faculty collaborates with leading foreign researchers as well as partners in the business community and public sector through its research institutes and centres.

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