SINGAPORE - As the only female national para-powerlifter here in a team of five, Nur'Aini Mohamad Yasli, 29, regularly deals with some unwanted stereotypes.
"Many people have the misconception that if you are a woman who does powerlifting or weights training, you will start looking very bulky or masculine, but there's more to the sport than that," she said.
She hopes the new Singapore Disability Sports Council (SDSC) Life app will not only correct these false impressions but also attract more participants to the sport.
An acronym for Lifelong Independence, Friendships and Empowerment, the app was launched on Thursday (July 8) and aims to encourage persons with disabilities to learn about and participate in para-sports.
Registered users can sign up for inclusive sports and wellness programmes organised by SDSC and its partners, based on their interests and suitability while also providing information about volunteer opportunities.
Existing para-athletes like Aini can also use the app's training tab to view upcoming training sessions, competitions plus analyses of past results and performances.
SDSC president Dr Teo-Koh Sock Miang said the governing body wants to support the sporting aspirations of persons with disabilities, whether it is at the entry or elite level and noted: "The most important step for persons with disabilities is to give disability sports a try.
"Whether you are a coach, a classifier, a technical sport official, a caregiver or a volunteer, there are valuable information and resources available for you on SDSC Life."
Future enhancements for the app include listing disability-friendly locations like swimming pools and gyms as well as working with disability organisations and social service agencies to on-board their clients and beneficiaries who may be interested in disability sports.
The app is one of the 43 projects supported by the Tote Board Enabling Lives Initiative Grant. It has been downloaded 450 times and SDSC hopes to reach more than 2,000 by next January.
Mr Eric Chua, Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, and Ministry of Social and Family Development, said: "The government will also continue to work with citizens, the disability community and other stakeholders, to hear perspectives from the ground, and to co-create policies and schemes to provide more effective and comprehensive support for disability sports, including the ongoing effort to develop the next Enabling Masterplan."