First batch of student-athletes under MOE's revised Junior Sports Academy programme graduate

Among the new graduates from JSA are (from left) Meagan Lim, 12, Isaac Ong, 11, Amirah Fikriyah Herman, 11.
Among the new graduates from JSA are (from left) Meagan Lim, 12, Isaac Ong, 11, Amirah Fikriyah Herman, 11. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

SINGAPORE - Almost 400 pupil-athletes from more than 100 primary schools graduated from the Junior Sports Academy (JSA) on Saturday (May 20) at the OCBC Arena.

These pupils are the first batch who joined JSA following the revisions made to the programme in 2015.

With these revisions, pupils could participate in two to four different sports out of the 16 sports modules offered, instead of being trained in specific areas of sports.

About 400 students are selected to join the JSA programme every year since it was introduced in 2008.

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The Ministry of Education (MOE) will this year partner the National Youth Sports Institute (NYSI) to increase the capacity of each cohort to about 800.

The JSA programme for the increased cohort will begin in July.

MOE's divisional director of student development curriculum Tan Chen Kee believes the partnership with the NYSI will not only benefit the JSA programme by opening it up to more students, but also by introducing greater depth to the modules on offer.

"Apart from having more sports (in the future), we also want to deepen the students' exposure to the different sports and build in sports education as well," she told The Straits Times.

"Mental resilience and self-management are some of the skills they pick up in sports, and we also want to help the kids learn to transfer what they pick up in the sport to the other aspect of their lives."

The JSA now offers 16 sports modules, up from the seven sports that were available in 2008.

Students who participate in the two-year programme from Primary Four to Primary Six are selected based on their overall physical abilities, with selection trials for all Primary Four pupils taking place in March every year.