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play inclusive 2020 news

Play Inclusive 2020 reimagines play

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On 7 November 2020, over 100 students from mainstream and special education needs schools came together to play and have fun in the finale event of Play Inclusive 2020. Together with 24 participants onsite, Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, Mr Eric Chua, kickstarted the blended event (physical and digital) at Toa Payoh ActiveSG Sport Hall. Other participants joined the event via zoom.

Co-organised by SportCares and Special Olympics Singapore, in partnership with the Ministry of Education Special Education Branch, Play Inclusive 2020 is the culmination of a 3-month long campaign to promote social inclusion between students with and without intellectual disabilities. With sport as the common language to break down barriers, the activities in Play Inclusive 2020 were adjusted to adapt to the current COVID-19 situation. With most activities taking place virtually this year, it was a unique play experience for all participants.

play inclusive 2020Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, Mr Eric Chua, interacting with Play Inclusive 2020 participants. Photo: SportSG

Mr Eric Chua said: “Sport is a great way to connect people. Amid COVID-19, I thank SportCares for continuing to use sport as a force for social good. It is heartwarming to see students from different schools playing sport together and making friends at Play Inclusive. Through sport, we gain a better understanding of our team mates, and also learn to respect one another. These are important values that make Singapore a more caring and inclusive community.”

As the largest unified sport competition in Singapore, Play Inclusive provides the opportunity for all, including individuals with intellectual disabilities to the right to play and compete with their peers in an inclusive and supportive environment. In the spirit of friendship and respect for diversity, Play Inclusive aims to promote community bridging through sport.

play inclusive 2020Students from Casuarina Primary and Metta School exercising together online. Screen capture: SportSG

Over the past 3 months, participants had the opportunity to exercise online together using various exercise and dance videos such as HIIT fitness and cardio fitness dance videos. They also made use of the resource pack specially curated by SportCares (https://go.gov.sg/inclusive-sportsg). The resource pack contains a series of exercise videos pegged at various levels of fitness difficulty - easy, standard and advance, that are suitable for all ability groups. Students from Casuarina Primary and Metta School even created their own unique dance activity where each student and teacher contributed a dance step and strung the steps into dance moves. Through these weekly exercises, the students interacted and had a keener understanding of their new friends, as well as the value of sport beyond competition. For many, forming new friendships was the biggest takeaway for them.

“I enjoyed myself very much over the past three months, getting to play sport with my classmates and my new friends from ITE College West. It was fun when we played games together and I felt that I could keep myself healthy. This is the first time I joined Play Inclusive and I look forward to continue our play sessions together after this,” said Chong Jun Fong, 18, from APSN Delta Senior School.