Rugby to bring life skills to East Spring students

East Spring students practising tackling during yesterday's training session. The 14 students picked are attending a 30-week programme.
East Spring students practising tackling during yesterday's training session. The 14 students picked are attending a 30-week programme.ST PHOTO: MARCUS TAN

Students of East Spring Secondary School now have the opportunity to learn rugby under a qualified coach after ActiveSG launched a new rugby enrichment programme for schools yesterday.

This pilot programme was developed in collaboration with the SportCares Foundation and the Singapore Rugby Union (SRU).

Watched by coach Farij Samsudi from the SRU yesterday, 14 specially selected East Spring Secondary students learnt the basics of the sport.

The proper way to catch and pass the ball was revealed during a game of modified captain's ball in a two-hour session at their school grounds.

The 30-week programme will teach these students the key elements of tackling, ruck and scrum, with the aim of playing a proper rugby game in the near future.

It also aims to use rugby to improve the students' all-round life skills, including problem-solving and goal-setting.

Teoh Teik Hoe, principal of East Spring Secondary, explained how he chose the 14 students from a pool of 30 applicants.

He said: "We selected them based on their interest levels. They are all very active students and very keen to know more about the game of rugby.

"Also, we looked at the learning outcomes of this programme based on our school values of resilience, respect and integrity. And we felt that it could teach and develop the students' characters so we specifically chose those who had the potential to be leaders."

John Legaspi, 13, was one of the students selected for the programme and he was delighted with what he learnt.

"Having been involved in other sports like basketball and being an active person, I was keen to try out a new sport when I heard about this new rugby programme," he told The Straits Times.

"The session was fun and I have managed to pick up new skills such as teamwork and sportsmanship."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 01, 2016, with the headline 'Rugby to bring life skills to East Spring students'. Print Edition | Subscribe