Partners from SRU briefing participants on the values that can be learnt from playing rugby. (Photo by Sport Singapore Photographer/ Zack Zainal)
“You have to be a gentleman!” yelled a 10-year-old girl as her cheeky team mate threatened to pass her the rugby ball roughly.
The pair was part of 72 students, aged 8 to 13, who turned up at Yio Chu Kang Sports Centre thinking they were there to learn the basics of Rugby and Ultimate (commonly known as Ultimate Frisbee).
Instead, they got great sports play -- and first-class mentoring in values and character, delivered by partners SportCares, Singapore Rugby Union and UltySports Singapore. The session was part of a two-day character development programme, “Play Like Champions”.
“It is very important to impart life lessons like teamwork and compassion for team mates onto children at a young age,” said SportCares Young Mentor Hafiz Maideen, 21 years old and a coach from UltySports Singapore.
Hafiz Maideen (standing, with red cap), teaching the children the basics of Ultimate. (Photo by Sport Singapore Photographer/ Zack Zainal)
The SportCares Young Mentors Programme equips youth leaders with skills to use sports as a means of teaching values to children.
Held on 19-20 March, Play Like Champions was jointly organised by SportCares and ActiveSG, Sport Singapore's new movement targeted at providing the community with platforms and resources to participate in sport, regardless of skill level and backgrounds.
Praising the programme, Mr Toh Boon Yi, Chief, Strategic Development and Marketing of Sport Singapore said: “As we embrace the new national initiative, ActiveSG, we hope to tap into additional Sports Centres to provide more opportunities like these to the community.”
Among the other community partners contributing to the programme were: the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB), Ministry of Education (MOE), PPIS Student Care Centre, Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), Singapore Police Force (SPF), the YMCA Student Care Centre and Singapore Children’s Society.
Sharon Eng, counsellor at the Singapore Children’s Society gave the programme a nod of approval.
“Getting young mentors to guide and teach them is a really good idea as they (the mentors) are people the children can look up to as some do not have positive role models in their lives,” she said.
Indeed for 28-year-old Team Singapore athlete, Muhammad Zaki (below), the children’s happiness was the key reason he volunteered for the programme.
(Photo by Sport Singapore Photographer/ Zack Zainal)
“Seeing the smiles on their faces is enough for me,” he said.