SINGAPORE - One does not usually associate elderly citizens with water sports. But the People's Association (PA) aims to change that perception.
It wants to get 1,000 senior citizens every year into the water, taking part in sports such as pedal boating. The new initiative, Silver WaVe, launched on Saturday (April 15), offers Singapore's first pedal boat orientation programme for senior citizens aged 55 and above, and teaches them how to operate the vessels.
Users sit upright and propel the boats by moving the pedals, near their feet.
PA said these boats were chosen for the initiative as they are very safe and do not need a lot of physical energy to handle.
A two-hour orientation programme costs $5 for each Silver WaVe participant and they are conducted on weekends.
Each class will be made up of between three and eight senior citizens and participants can register for it online via onePA.
It costs $2 for Silver Wave participants to rent a two-seater pedal boat for an hour. It costs $10 to rent a four-seater pedal boat for the same duration.
Such vessels are available at PAssion WaVe @ Marina Bay between Wednesdays and Sundays.
Other sports include bell boating. A bell boat looks like a canoe and participants use oars to paddle them with their arms.
Silver WaVe is designed to create more opportunities for senior citizens to experience water sports with their family members and friends, said the PA. It is part of a larger national drive to promote a healthy lifestyle for active agers.
Speaking to reporters at its launch at the PAssion WaVe @ Marina Bay water sports hub at Rhu Cross near Gardens by the Bay East , Minister of Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim said the elderly are a valuable resource and they need to find ways to remain active.
He added: "The elderly of tomorrow will be highly educated, well trained, well educated and therefore they can contribute not just in terms of activities but also to the economy.
"I think we can continue to tap into this very important resource pool for our country so that we can continue to move forward."
Chairma of PA's Water-Venture Committee (Marina Bay) Celine Koh said: "As our population continues to age, we see an increasing call for our community to continue engaging our seniors.
"With the Silver WaVe programme, we aim to offer an array of viable lifestyle pursuits that would keep our silver generation active through the ages."