Para-Canoeing Programme Launched To Wider Canoeing Community
24 Aug 2014
Initiative launched today with Singapore Canoe Federation partnering SportCares Foundation and Asian Women's Welfare Association in pioneering programme
Singapore, 24th August 2014
– Singapore Canoe Federation (SCF) has partnered with the Asian Women's Welfare Association’s (AWWA) TEACH ME Services and the SportCares foundation to pioneer the Para Canoeing development programme. Mr Lawrence Wong, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, officially launched the programme at MacRitchie Reservoir this morning and spent time on the water with the participants on boats and equipment funded by the SportCares foundation.
2. This is the first time SportCares has partnered with such a programme driven primarily by a National Sports Association. The programme, an initiative under the SCF’s broader social and charitable outreach initiative, Canoeing Cares, aims to extend canoeing in Singapore to the wider community by offering the physically disabled with an additional avenue for rehabilitation through participating in the sport on a regular basis. SCF plans to reach out to more beneficiaries as the programme matures.
3. Mr Lim Teck Yin, Chief Executive Officer of Sport Singapore and Member of the SportCares advisory panel was captured by the passion of those behind the program, “Sport is a great way to get active, and I’m extremely heartened by the passion and dedication the SCF has in leading this programme and working with partners such as AWWA and SportCares to make a positive impact in the community. Using canoeing as a platform to reach out to the community with special needs is a great way to open up opportunities and make sport inclusive and accessible for all. The programme is very much aligned to what SportCares seeks to do and is a good fit for all parties.” The SportCares foundation’s mission is to use sport as a tool for social good, and is one of the initiatives under the Vision 2030 sport master plan.
4. Mr. Yip Kwan Guan, President of the Singapore Canoe Federation was excited at how the participants have progressed, noting “In the beginning, there was a need to tackle the major areas of water confidence and motor ability prior to conducting the first para-canoeing session at MacRitchie, but as sessions progressed you can see how confident they are paddling in the water, and this is no easy task in such a short time.” He added that this was just the start of many other programs the federation is looking to do using their sport to reach out to care for the community with the possibility of introducing a high performance development programme to participants with the potential to go to the next level.
5. Mr J. R. Karthikeyan, Director of AWWA’s TEACH ME Services and Board member of Singapore Disability Sports Council was equally delighted by the programme. “Canoeing is a great sport and complementary to rehabilitation which not only improves upper body strength but also reinforces good posture, balance and coordination skills. I am extremely heartened to see their progress and confidence. We hope to continue this collaboration with SCF to make para canoeing a mainstream sport for persons with disabilities which also helps to integrate them into the community.”
6. The Para Canoeing development programme began its pilot run on 31 May 2014. It is conducted on Saturday afternoons from 4pm to 6pm at MacRitchie reservoir. After the successful 10-week pilot programme, the SCF will start the next intake on 6th September 2014. This volunteer led and run initiative is offered to beneficiaries at no charge and includes national canoeists among the 30 odd volunteers who dedicate their time to the programme each week. The youngest participant in the programme is 8 years old with the oldest being 23 years old.
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The SportCares Foundation and Movement was set up in late 2012 to help people live better lives through sport. From underprivileged children to people of all ages with disabilities to enthusiastic volunteers to needy seniors to generous donors, sport can be a channel to empower people to live better. Designed to use sport as a force for social good, SportCares will work with other concerned agencies to develop and support sustainable, scalable programming to engage the vulnerable segments of our society. SportCares is a key recommendation of Sport Singapore’s (SportSG) Vision 2030: Live Better through Sport master plan.
About Singapore Canoe Federation
Singapore Canoe Federation (SCF) is the National Sports Association responsible for the management, co-ordination, development and promotion of canoeing in Singapore. It represents the interest of its athletes and members to Sport Singapore, Singapore National Olympic Committee, the public and other international canoeing bodies.
Asian Women's Welfare Association (AWWA), established in 1970, is a Singapore registered voluntary welfare organization and a full member of the National Council of Social Services. AWWA empowers the disadvantaged to maximize their potential to lead dignified and independent lives in providing Family Services, Elderly Services, Educational Services, Integration Services, and Caregiver Services to their clients.
AWWA’s TEACH ME Services (TMS) is an integration service that caters to physically challenged children and youth aged 7 to 18 years. It provides educational, rehabilitative and social support to help them integrate into mainstream society. Through the variety of sporting activities offered under TMS, AWWA’s physically challenged school-going clients now have the opportunity to participate in regular sports, something which their mainstream schools may not have the means to provide for them.