It was a regular Tuesday evening for most Singaporeans, who are probably finishing up their daily work hustle and home commute.
But it was definitely not one for residents of Ren Ci Nursing Home, located at Jalan Tan Tock Seng.
Joined by a group of volunteers from Team NILA, the nursing home residents cheered, laughed, and enjoyed a night of good fun, playing round after round of modified table tennis and strategy games.
A volunteer from Team NILA enjoying a game of modified table tennis with a Ren Ci Nursing Home resident. Photo: Sport Singapore
The social initiative, held once a month, is the first of many by Team NILA and it is targeted at giving back to the community through sports. Sport - does not have to be competitive, it can simply be moderate physical activities that keep us active and healthy.
“This is the least that we can do to bring some cheer to the residents here, who are here 24 hours a day for months,” said Team NILA volunteer Victor Ng.
“Through this, we can give them a little break from their routine and to bring them a little bit of joy is a little bit of joy for us as well.”
The 60-year-old, who works for a non-governmental organization in the day, also chipped in to purchase various strategy board games for the residents, in hopes of making the activity sessions more engaging.
Ng said: “Having such games can provide some variety and it helps them think creatively as well.”
“We don’t want them to be here every single time and doing the same thing. Instead, this can give them something to look forward to.”
For Sport Singapore and Team NILA, getting opportunities to volunteer in the social sector was a mere matter of time. Photo: Sport Singapore
According to Sport Singapore senior manager Lim Hong Chin, there were several members of Team NILA who have expressed their interest in volunteering for social causes.
“Getting involved and helping out in the social sector is something that has never been done before for Team NILA, so when this opportunity was presented to us, we already have a pool of volunteers who are ready and want to do it,” said Lim.
A Team NILA volunteer providing therapeutic massage sessions for a resident. Photo: Sport Singapore
Apart from table tennis games, the social initiative also included basic therapeutic massage sessions (see above) for residents at the hospital, and these are held twice each month.
For Team NILA volunteer leader Myint Aung, things have come full circle.
“I like giving back to the community and especially the elderly, and if I can bring a smile to their faces and make them happy, then I’m also happy,” said Myint Aung, a native Burmese who has been helping out at Ren Ci for the past 10 years.
At the end of the day, the collaboration between Team NILA and Ren Ci was all for a common goal – to bring a ray of hope to the less fortunate seniors in the home.