Junior sports boost
Holistic training to benefit young sporting athletes. Would such a program increase the chances of Singapore producing world-class athletes? How would you encourage your child to cope with studies and sports if selected?
SINGAPORE – Young sporting talent in junior sporting academies not only gets the chance to hone their skills, but will also be given value added training in values, nutrition and mental strength to enhance development as an all-rounded sportsmen. There are 21 junior sporting academies each specializing in a sport like badminton, table tennis, fencing. These are housed inside schools across the districts island-wide.
According to The Straits Times, Senior Parliamentary for Education and Manpower Hawazi Daipi announced that the students will be taught the importance of respect, friendship, and topics related to sports science. The junior sports academy program aims to provide quality mentoring by coaches to aspiring sportsmen within a short distance from their homes. He also added that the journey to sporting excellence is not just about honing skills, but of the right mindset and attitude.
About half of the participants in this scheme are sent to training stints overseas, as well as the opportunity to represent the country in various regional and international competitions. The Ministry of Education will include topics to help athletes develop holistically. 321 talented young sportsmen received certificates at the graduation ceremony.
Among them include the 12 year-old Shameelia Saharudin, who specializes in Wushu, or Chinese martial arts. She attends training in a sporting academy based in Chung Cheng High (Main) school. Winning first prize in an event at this year’s National Inter-Primary School Wushu Championships is an icing on the cake. She said that the program allowed her to forge strong friendships with her teammates, often getting them to interpret and translate the coach words in Mandarin.
Students for this 2 year program are selected for in Primary 5, and those without any background knowledge of the sport are selected for a trial based on their national physical fitness assessment results. The Tampines North Primary School student, Hidayat Fikri, 12 was one such pupil whom was selected. He picked up fencing as the sport emphasized on strategy, which he liked.
Hidayat trains once a week in a 2 hour training session at Pasir Ris Crest Secondary School, which is a sporting academy for fencing. He practices the sport outside training at home, using targets that he drawn on the wall. His neighbours will also watch him practice. Although being exposed to fencing and training for about 2 years, Hidayat is looking forward to taking part in his first competition on Friday.
Would such a program increase the chances of Singapore producing world-class athletes? How would you encourage your child to cope with studies and sports if selected?