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Sidney Kumar: Grooming future generations through sport

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Sport Singapore welcomes its second batch of brand ambassadors! They are your everyday Singaporeans, tackling the same demands of life as you do, but they also hold a strong belief that sport can inspire us to live better. Get to know them in our feature series here!

Having played rugby since he was ten, former national player and newly-appointed Sport Singapore (SportSG) ambassador Sidney Kumar has embarked on a personal mission to help the younger generation recognize the value of sport.

He recounted his first experience with rugby during an interclass competition, and how he fell in love with the sport when he was only a primary school student.

“When you get the ball, the thrill of them chasing you, and you running away from them, that’s what got me hooked at the start. Then after that came the tackling, and the contact stuff which [I also enjoyed],” Sidney shared.

That passion continued to fuel him when representing Team Singapore, and although he retired from the national side last year, he has still been actively involved in sport, by playing in a local rugby league and fulfilling his role as a Physical Education (PE) teacher.

 

Sidney Kumar Sport Singapore Ambassador Photo: SportSG

“I’ve always wanted to do something related to sport, and for me, I felt that the [local] context was more suitable for me as a PE teacher - I can continue to deliver certain values that I want, and continue to teach sport,” said Sidney, who teaches at his alma mater, St. Andrews Secondary School.

With more than 20 years of experience on the rugby field to count on, Sidney shared some of the most valuable lessons he has learnt along the way, lessons that he now wishes to pass on to his students.

“The most important thing that sport has taught me is discipline. It has allowed me to continue being healthy, even after I’ve stepped down from playing at the highest levels,” shared the 32-year-old, who still keeps active with a regular gym routine and rugby trainings with his club.

“I think the biggest thing that I ask of [my students] is [also] discipline, especially those in my CCA and in the sports that I teach. That is the foundation and the fundamental [value] that I believe sport brings,” he said.

Sidney added: “Being so heavily involved in sport, it has shaped me a lot as a person. I’m not sure what kind of person I’d be if I wasn’t playing sport and I’m not even sure if the value systems I have would be the same.”

A former national athlete and an educator, Sidney strongly believes that sport has plenty to offer to the younger generation, especially in this digital age.

 Sidney Kumar Sport Singapore AmbassadorPhoto: SportSG

“Apart from the individual benefits, the values, [and] the discipline, there’s a lot of things that sport teaches you. With every sport there are challenges, whether it’s injuries, time management, or training, and these are things that you cannot get out of a standard textbook or classroom setting,” he pointed out.

“With the current influx of technology and social media, and the availability of electronic devices, you see more and more children or young people growing up without sport or without physical activity in their lives. It’s very easy to neglect that aspect, and I hope to play a small part to change that trend,” he continued.

With that ambition in mind, Sidney had no reservations when he was approached with the opportunity to become a SportSG ambassador, a role which he feels will further his mission.

 

Sidney Kumar Sport Singapore Ambassador Photo: SportSG

“When I first got the notification, I was excited [to] have a chance to play a bigger role in influencing sport [participation] in Singapore. I think this is what I look forward to most,” he shared.

“Being an ambassador, I [will be] creating content to bring sport to the masses, and hoping to promote active living through sport,” he enthused.

Start following Sidney Kumar on his Instagram @sidthirteen to find out what he is up to, and stay tuned to the myActiveSG Facebook page, SG Sports TV Facebook, and SportSG Instagram accounts - @sport_singapore and @sgsportstv– for more!

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