Gunning for a sporting culture
16 March, 2015
When ActiveSG organised its 3-on-3 Basketball Sports Challenge 2015 at Hougang Sports Centre on Saturday, a familiar sporting heroine stood out.
There she was, Singapore’s former bowling queen, Grace Young, on the sidelines of the court with her face in fierce concentration as she watched Team Grit and Falcon Team 1 tussling it out for the Boys Under-12 title.
Team Grit and Falcon Team 1 tussling it out for the Boys Under-12 title. (Photo by VoxSports)
It was strange to catch the three-time Sportswoman of the Year recipient in a basketball setting given her bowling history, but she soon revealed she was there to support her 10-year-old son, Kenneth Diao, who played for Team Grit.
“This is a really good event, this is something we should all continue to participate in and hopefully this will be organised as well for the long term,” Young said of the tournament.
“This is exactly how we can try and cultivate a sporting city and culture. This is a start and hopefully there will be lots more to come.”
While Team Grit eventually ran out winners in the game, Young was more concerned about her son picking up invaluable experience from the tournament rather than winning, which she added was just a bonus.
“Exposing our children to sports is extremely important,” she said. “Sport teaches us a lot of different values and exposing them is a good way of directing them onto the right path.
“It's a whole process, from the training right up to now. Persevering and improving during the game, it's so crucial for him to learn that the process is important.”
Team Grit’s coach, Jemell Swafford (below, right), who plays for Singapore Supras in the Pro-Am Basketball League, also lauded the efforts by ActiveSG to organise 3-on-3 events as he felt it would benefit the development of youth players.
Team Grit’s coach, Jemell Swafford. (Photo by VoxSports)
This is especially since 3-on-3s are generally played within the half-court, while the usual 5-a-side games are played on the full court.
“This is a good event for the youth… in 3-on-3s the kids get to cut and move without the ball instead of trying to stand there and watch somebody,” Swafford explained.
“It teaches you ball movement, spacing cutting, the basics and fundamentals of basketball.”
In the other categories, Adroit (below) was the toast of the lot as they sent in various teams bearing the club’s colours across the divisions and grabbed many of the silverwares available.
(Photo by VoxSports)
The club swept the medals in the Men’s Open and Under-16 Boys division, while their ladies also emerged champions in the Women’s Open.
“It was pretty fun, because some of my students also participated, so it was like an outing for us,” said Men’s Open champions’ representative Nicholas Foo, who brought students from his basketball classes to the event.
Men’s Open champions’ representative Nicholas Foo (extreme right, on the ball). (Photo by VoxSports)
“I'm excited generally for any 3-on-3 I play, but this was quite well-run and because it's in an indoor court, most 3-on-3s are played at an outdoor court. Playing on this kind of flooring is more enjoyable.”