Singapore Sports: More sports activities on offer for over-40s

MCCY Minister Grace Fu (centre) at yesterday's launch of the ActiveSG Masters Club at Heartbeat@Bedok, an initiative to encourage the over-40s to take up sports.
MCCY Minister Grace Fu (centre) at yesterday's launch of the ActiveSG Masters Club at Heartbeat@Bedok, an initiative to encourage the over-40s to take up sports.ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

When Alice Sin finally went into a swimming pool two years ago, it was not to learn how to swim. Instead, she took part in pool walking as a form of therapy after she had hurt her right knee.

From just being able to waddle in the pool, the 56-year-old housewife is now able to float on water.

She said: "In my first session, I just walked twice around the perimeter of the pool.

"Previously, I was not interested and I didn't exercise. I didn't know how to swim and I didn't have any swimming gear too.

"But because of my knee condition, my doctor advised me to do this. It is not as intense as swimming and you do not have to know how to swim to take part in it."

Pool walk is one of the activities on offer by ActiveSG, the national movement for sport and physical activity, to encourage more Singaporeans above the age of 40 to take up sports and exercise.

Yesterday saw the launch of the ActiveSG Masters Club, which offers a variety of fitness and sports programmes that are modified and tailored so that over-40 residents who have been inactive can find it easier to take up a sport.

For example, instead of swimming, participants can join less strenuous exercises like pool walk, aqua cycling, aqua spinning and even taijiquan in the pool.

The activities are held across seven locations islandwide.

Speaking at the Club's launch at Heartbeat@Bedok, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) Grace Fu said: "We all want to live well and be active. But some of us start to have other concerns such as problems with joints and other physical conditions.

"We hope to have customised programmes that meet the needs of a wide range of physical (levels). So whether you're physically active, into outdoor sports, or if you'd like to have something more suitable for your condition, (something) slower perhaps, we have a wide range of sports."

The National Sports Participation Survey in 2015 found that among four age groups, people between the ages of 40 and 59 are the most physically inactive. Just one in two actively participated in sports activities.

Said Minister Fu: "For those above 40, we realised that we needed to adjust (the activities) to accommodate (to different people's) physical conditions.

"So I might be interested in zumba, but zumba for a 20-year-old and a 50-year-old can be quite different. We want to provide something for everyone, as we look at different segments of people."

•The list of programmes is available at www.myactivesg.com

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 02, 2017, with the headline 'More sports activities on offer for over-40s'. Print Edition | Subscribe