14 April 2009

Singapore sports scene update

Youth sports development gets $15m boost@Straits Times

The Singapore Youth Sports Development (SYSD) committee announced yesterday that $15 million will be jointly committed by the Ministry of Community, Youth and Sports (MCYS), the Ministry of Education (MOE) and the Singapore Totalisator Board to support youth sports development initiatives.

The committee, jointly set up by MCYS and MOE last September, will allocate $5 million for training athletes for the YOG, with the remaining $10 million to be used for developing a national talent framework in schools.

While Singapore's estimated 535,000 students under the age of 18 go through physical education lessons, only 10 per cent represent their schools in competitions.

Among the plans to unearth more talent and grow the sporting pool are the formation of training centres for each of the 26 YOG sports.

Specialised workshops and programmes will also be organised, on top of more sports medicine and sports science support.

SSC to channel S$58.8m to NSAs this year@CNA

More money will be channelled to National Sports Associations (NSAs) this year. S$58.8 million will be disbursed, a 25 per cent increase from the S$47 million given out last year.

Most of the additional funds will go towards helping the associations prepare for the upcoming Asian Youth Games.

NSAs can also look forward to multi-year planning, and funds will be made available to those with good and viable programmes.

Sports Council rolls out plans to reach the very young in pre-schools@CNA

There are some 194,000 children under the age of four in Singapore and the Singapore Sports Council (SSC) hopes to get them to embrace sports even at this tender age by developing a Fundamental Skills Programme for those aged 18 months to six years old.

Details are being worked out, but about a S$100,000 will be spent to develop the curriculum. The council will also work with private sector companies to roll out the programme in pre-school institutions later this year.

8 new schools chosen to train promising young athletes@CNA

The Education Ministry's talent spotting scheme for young athletes has been expanded to include eight new schools.

Yio Chu Kang Primary School is one of the newest Junior Sports Academies, tasked to identify and train promising talent in sports such as shooting, fencing and swimming.

Four of these centralised training institutes were set up in 2008 and since then, they have trained 260 young athletes in wushu, table-tennis, badminton, and track and field.

The eight new schools are Anglican High School, Anglo-Chinese (Primary), Catholic High School, Yio Chu Kang Primary, Ahmad Ibrahim Secondary, Nan Hua Primary, Pasir Ris Crest Secondary, Paya Lebar Methodist Girls' (Secondary) School.

08 April 2009

AIS Robert T Withers PhD Scholar Award for physiologists

Talented sports physiologists recognised for excellence@AIS

Talented sports physiologists Nicola Bullock and Eileen Robertson from the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) have been named joint winners of the inaugural AIS Robert T Withers PhD Scholar Award.

‘Both of the PhD scholars are working at the forefront of sports science research and development and pushing the limits of scientific inquiry to help Australian athletes and teams gain that winning edge,’ said Professor Gore. ‘They have shown tremendous passion, drive and commitment in their PhD research work.’

Nicola Bullock was commended for her exhaustive PhD research into the performance of Australia’s winter athletes in skeleton racing. Her research, which was mentored by Dr David Martin, has let to a much greater understanding of key factors that affected the performance of skeleton athletes at the Winter Olympic Games.

Eileen Robertson, currently a lecturer in exercise physiology at the University of Canberra, was recognised for her significant contribution under the guidance of Professor David Pyne to physiological expertise and support that helped maximise the performance of AIS swimmers and teams in preparation for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

The AIS Robert T Withers PhD Scholar Award includes a $5000 prize and medallion. It is open to current PhD scholars (or individuals who graduated less than one year ago) from any Australian university, sports institute or academy, who have conducted exercise physiology research that has had a substantial impact, or the potential to have a strong impact, on Australian sport.

03 April 2009

Singapore Sports School to offer a 6-years long term athlete development programme

Singapore Sports School to offer 6-year education programme@CNA

SINGAPORE: Singapore Sports School has plans to introduce a six-year education programme next year. Currently, the school offers a four-year O-Level course for its students.

Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports, Vivian Balakrishnan, joined in the school's 5th anniversary celebrations on Thursday.

He also opened "The Champion Heritage Centre", which chronicles the school's sports and academic achievements.

The school in Woodlands now wants to offer more to students, some of whom have also excelled in their studies.

Dr Balakrishnan said: "When we first started the Sports School, we said that we will provide secondary school education up to O-Levels and then the students would have to move on. We now realise that we need a longer platform for these students, so we will run a six-year programme."

The in-house programme will be introduced next year for the secondary one cohort. The school now has tie-ups with other institutions offering A-Level, Diploma and even degree programmes.

Over the years, the school has achieved much in the sporting arena and the new six-year education programme will ensure that the students can balance between studies and sports.

More manpower will be recruited to support the programme, but for now, there are no plans to expand the infrastructure.

Expending their energies, 400 students showed off their creative skills in a concert as part of the celebrations.