Last Saturday marked a day of futsal action for some 150 youths from SportCares and Taman Jurong Constituency, as they took part in the Let’s Play Fair Futsal Tournament held at The ARK@Taman Jurong.
The event, co-organised by SportCares, Taman Jurong Citizens Consultative Committee, and Tasek Jurong Limited, sought to inculcate values of respect, empathy, and sportsmanship by encouraging fair play on the pitch.
Each team captain was given a “Power Play” card, only to be used once during the tournament, to create an advantage or a handicap, depending on the circumstances in the game.
The team could choose to either add a player, have the opponents remove one of their players, or pass this card to the opposing team.
“We wanted to come up with a type of game play that would make the youths think on their feet.
Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam (in black) poses with the winning team. Photo: SportSG
This “Power Play” card would put them in a situation that will challenge their natural instincts to win at all costs, or to practise fair play even when the odds are against them,” said Kerk Kim Por, Director of SportCares.
“When you play in a competition, the objective is to win. But there is also such a thing as winning in the right way, or the wrong way. So you want them to behave [in a] upright [manner] and have respect for others,” he continued.
18-year-old Khairul Nizam’s team chose not to use the “Power Play” card, during the competition, but the participant from SportCares acknowledged the spirit of fair play in a slightly different manner.
“It’s all about how you want to use that card. [For me], I [would] like to give everyone [a] chance to play, and maybe sometimes if you take them away, it affects their momentum to win,” he said, explaining that he did not want to stop anyone from playing.
SportCares youth Khairul Nizam (left) enjoyed himself with Singapore Football Legend Aleksandar Duric. Photo: SportSG
“We didn’t want to kick a player out [of the opposing team], because we are a young team, [and] we [wanted] to take [on] bigger challenges. I really thought we couldn’t make it [in the finals], but we won,” said 16-year old Mohd Jorazly Bin Mohd Darin, a player from the competition’s winning team, who gave his perspective.
Speaking at the prize-giving ceremony, the event’s guest-of-honour Deputy Prime Minister & Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies, Mr. Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Advisor to Jurong GRC Grassroots Organisation, recounted the days when he used to participate in team sports, adding that sport would always be a great platform to learn valuable life lessons.
Group photo of SportCares, Aleksandar Duric and football coaches. Photo: SportSG
“It’s not possible to always win in sports. But later on when you think back to the game, the winning and losing actually isn’t so important, but [it is] the experience of training, slogging, facing the pains together, that was such a joy,” he shared.
Principal of the ActiveSG Football Academy and local football legend Aleksandar Duric was also present to watch the finals, and he provided a similar insight after
years of working with youths through football.
“It’s an easier way [to teach them values] through the fun and engagement of playing games. They don’t usually know they are learning these values through football, but they are learning things, which will be useful to their lives,” Duric concluded.