Bowled over by Sports Day

It has been years since Madam Yit Ah Keng, 85, took part in a sports day but, this week, she was happy that she could bowl at one.

Madam Yit, who had leprosy, lost all her fingers to the disease but, using foam pins and a small basketball, she and fellow residents of the Singapore Leprosy Relief Association Home scored strikes and spares bowling there on Wednesday.

The residents also had a chance to try shooting - using Nerf guns in a redesigned shooting event for the Sports Day, which was organised by the Singapore Disability Sports Council (SDSC) to help residents reintegrate into society through interacting with volunteers.

The Sports Day received high praise from residents like Madam Yit, who has been staying at the home since 1991. She said: "I am very happy to play these sports. Having the volunteers over also makes staying in the home more enjoyable, rather than watching TV or idling."

Over the years, the SDSC has also been working with schools to help students better understand those with disabilities. SDSC has been growing its efforts to raise awareness in schools of the challenges that those with disabilities face.

During the SDSC's 2013-14 financial year, four talks and three tryouts - programmes where students get to experience playing a modified sport such as sitting volleyball - were organised in schools.

In the last financial year, the total number of programmes hit 36 - 24 talks and 12 tryouts.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 11, 2017, with the headline 'Bowled over by Sports Day'. Print Edition | Subscribe