Inter-agency effort to develop, nurture athletes

We thank Mr Philip Tan for his letter ("Create framework to support young sportsmen" ; July 30).

The Ministry of Education (MOE), Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY), and Sport Singapore (SportSG) work closely to nurture and support our young sports talents.

To help them build a strong foundation in physical development, students are given exposure to a variety of sports through their schools' Physical Education programme, modular sports programmes, sports competitions and sports events organised within schools, and sports co-curricular activities (CCAs).

Since last year, SportSG has been partnering schools, through ActiveSG, to complement their sports curriculum and expand sports opportunities for students. This includes exposing students to a range of new sports through the School Holiday Sports Programmes, working with schools to offer sports that are not offered as CCAs in the school, and helping schools to strengthen their existing CCA programmes.

To nurture students who have the interest and ability to excel in sports, MOE works together with MCCY, SportSG, National Sports Associations and the Singapore Sports School (Sports School) to provide development pathways.

Budding sports talents will be able to explore and discover their strengths and passion in a range of sports at the primary school level through the Junior Sports Academies and sports CCAs, and subsequently make an informed choice to commit to one of them at a secondary school, including the Sports School, which was specially set up to enable them to pursue sports excellence and have a sound academic education.

Closer collaboration between agencies to support student-athletes are bearing fruit, as seen in the achievements in the recent SEA Games, where student-athletes 18 years old and below formed 15 per cent of Team Singapore and contributed to 22 per cent of the Team Singapore medals.

We also recognise that there are budding national athletes outside of the Sports School, and the strategic review of the Sports School seeks, in part, to address how it can better support them.

We will continue to support our young athletes to train and perform to the best of their ability. Supportive parents like Mr Tan will also be an essential part of this journey.

Calvin Phua
Senior Director
Sports Division
Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth

Liew Wei Li (Ms)
Divisional Director
Student Development
Curriculum Division
Ministry of Education

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 26, 2015, with the headline 'Inter-agency effort to develop, nurture athletes'. Print Edition | Subscribe