The Inclusive Sports Festival 2019 was officially launched yesterday. Photo: Sport Singapore
The Inclusive Sports Festival 2019 (ISF 2019) rolls into its third edition with a full head of steam and a slew of new activities. As part of Sport Singapore’s GetActive! Singapore activity line-up, ISF 2019 aims to improve the lives of PwDs through sports and encourage the community to embrace the differences between individuals to build a more caring and cohesive society.
“Sport has the ability to enhance the physical, social and emotional well-being of people and I think persons with disabilities should equally access the benefits. The inclusive sports festival aims to do that, to bring sports to people of all abilities,” said Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, Grace Fu, during the launch of ISF 2019.
A Team Nila volunteer helps to get a game of table tennis going for participants at the festival. Photo: Sport Singapore
“If all of us are able to reach out and help one another particularly those who have not been exposed to sport… and through an act of care be able to send that message of love and of unity to them I think it is the right direction to go,” she continued.
Minister Grace Fu also announced that the SportCares Communities of Care Fund (CoCF) is ready to provide greater access to sporting programmes and support for vulnerable individuals in the community. Ms Fu shared that by 2023, the S$12 million CoCF will collectively reach out vulnerable individuals including children, youth and seniors, as well as Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) and those with special needs.
Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, Grace Fu, chatting with wheelchair rugby athlete, Sheikh Mohd Danial Bawthan, at the Inclusive Sports Festival. Photo: Sport Singapore
In an effort to build a knowledge sharing ecosystem amongst stakeholders, this year’s edition will also feature workshops and talks on adapted and disability sport.
Sport Singapore will also partner with Dialogue in the Dark to present a unique dark room experience. Guided by Team Singapore goal ball athletes, participants will experience what it means to be deprived of sight gaining and understanding an empathy toward the visually impaired community.
“Sport is a common language and we want to use sport as a form of community bonding,” said Lau Kim Lan, Senior Manager, SportCares.
All smiles during a wheelchair rugby game. Photo: Sport Singapore
“We’ve seen a growth in the number of PwDs who have taken up new sports coming back to teach the public about para-sport. The wheelchair rugby and goal ball teams are an example of para-sports teams that will be engaging with the community,” she continued.
Active Enabler Programme Ageless Bicyclist organiser, Malcolm Chen (first from left), was presented with a cake by a grateful parent who wanted to thank him for guiding and playing with her child during the guided bike ride at the Inclusive Sports Festival. Photo: Terence Yiew/ SportSG
Steven Tan, manager of Blue Cross Thong Kheng ASD Day Activities Centre praised ISF 2019 for its wide range of programmes and activities. “We cater to the interest of our clients and we want them to be part of the community. We bring them for more outdoor activities to teach them to react better when they are alone with their families,” said Tan.
Click here to find out more about the ISF 2019.