It was not a typical day at school for some 3,000 pre-schoolers who participated in a morning of sports at the National Stadium on Tuesday, marking the finale of the third edition of GetActive! Singapore.
Along with their teachers, parents, and even grandparents, the children, aged four to six, participated in the GetActive! Singapore workout and ActiveSG academy try-outs.
Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, Grace Fu, was the Guest-of-Honour at the GetActive! Singapore finale. Photo: Sport Singapore
Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, Grace Fu, who was the Guest-of-Honour, said: “Sports is a wonderful way to teach a lot of values that are very important in life, [such as] resilience, determination, and discipline - things that are not taught in the textbook.”
“I hope all parents will find out more about [ActiveSG’s] sports programmes and introduce the sports to them [their kids] at a young age,” she continued.
The students from 50 pre-schools jumped over hurdles, ran in relays, bounced basketballs, and tried out yoga in a series of physical activities specially tailored for the little ones.
Watching her granddaughter from the side, 61-year-old Winnie Lim commented: “This is my first time coming out with her. I don’t do it often, but I think she has really enjoyed herself!”
Six-year-old Javier Choo from Pat’s Schoolhouse had a great time at the event. Photo: Sport Singapore
Six-year-old Javier Choo from Pat’s Schoolhouse also enthused: “[My favourite activity] was the hurdles race. I really enjoy [outdoor activities] because I like to sweat – I don’t feel hot and I feel good after that!”
The kids undoubtedly had an enjoyable time during the morning’s proceedings, and Fatrah Mohd Fauzi, principal of Persatuan Pemudi Islam Singapura (PPIS) Child Development Centre, Bedok Reservoir, was pleased her school got involved in the event.
“[Such events] are definitely a good move. I really encourage these physical activities. When [the kids] are healthy, they will learn better,” commented Fatrah.
She also revealed that the students perform simple exercises during their morning assembly every day at school, and motor skills development are a key part of their programme.
Parents, such as 41-year-old Sofian Bin Buang, applauded such efforts as well. He said: “I think this is a good start. We as parents we should play a part and support [these initiatives].”
Sofian Bin Buang and his son Zahian Bin Sofian. Photo: Sport Singapore
The father-of-four continued: “It’s important because their health is taken care of, [and] they get a lot of sun. Another aspect [that improves] is socialising, [and] getting along with others of different backgrounds or races.”
Sport Singapore CEO Lim Teck Yin concurred: “It’s clear from research that children need to develop their fundamental movement skills. They need to feel comfortable to move because that will enable them to be more confident in the future – it bodes well for health and wellness.”
Indeed, over the GetActive! Singapore period, more than 800,000 people in Singapore got moving for the sake of their health and wellness. In collaboration with SG Cares, the national week of sport also saw close to 90% of its Active Enabler Programmes inspire and encourage fellow Singaporeans to care for others.
One such event was the OneRun 2018 community event organised by the Taman Jurong Zone B Resident’s Committee Youth Chapter, which saw some 6,000 participants run 700-metre laps around Chinese Garden to support the donation of 8,000 household products to 500 under-privileged families.
“We wanted to create an event where everyone in the community can put a foot forward to contribute and give back. In the end, the participants were able to raise a good number of products while having fun and getting exercise,” said the chairman of the Youth Chapter Caleb Lee, who expressed interest in organising similar events next year.
“As we continue this effort of GetActive! Singapore, we will look to engage and collaborate with the youth community and to reach out to more companies. The care element must always be part of our activities, because the whole idea is to drive towards a more inclusive society,” concluded Lim.