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National School Games to resume in March with 12 non-contact sports: MOE

SINGAPORE — The National School Games will resume later this month for 12 non-contact sports, but with safe management measures in place and no spectators, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said on Tuesday (March 9).

Appropriate safety measures will be put in place for 12 sports allowed at the National School Games, such as having a maximum of eight players interact during the games.

Appropriate safety measures will be put in place for 12 sports allowed at the National School Games, such as having a maximum of eight players interact during the games.

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SINGAPORE — The National School Games will resume later this month for 12 non-contact sports, but with safe management measures in place and no spectators, said the Ministry of Education (MOE) on Tuesday (March 9). 

The 12 sports that have been given the go-ahead are — badminton, bowling, golf, gymnastics, rope skipping, sepak takraw, shooting, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, volleyball and wushu.

The games, cancelled last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, were originally slated to restart in February. 

However, this was delayed due to a rise in cases in the community around that period. 

In a press statement announcing the resumption of the games, MOE noted that the risks of Covid-19 transmission and new clusters of infection remain a concern even in Phase Three of reopening. 

This is why the ministry has tried to minimise the intermingling of students across schools and emphasised safe distancing measures in schools, in a bid to avoid any large clusters from breaking out. 

"These are also the considerations for the calibrated approach in resuming the National School Games this year," it said.

In response to TODAY's queries, MOE said that around 8,000 students are expected to participate in the 12 sports this year.

"This is comparable to the annual participation in these 12 sports for previous years," said Mrs Tan Chen Kee, divisional director of the student development curriculum division at MOE.

This year’s edition will take place from March 29 to May 27 for the A, B and Senior Divisions, MOE said. 

Games for the C and Junior Divisions are expected to resume in Term 3 and more details will be provided at a later date.

Seventeen other sports that entail “prolonged physical contact or mingling between students from different schools” will stay suspended to minimise viral transmission risks, the ministry added in its statement.  

“Appropriate safe management measures... will be put in place for these 12 sports. For example, up to a maximum of eight players will be allowed to interact during the games.” 

For sports such as bowling, student athletes will have to keep a minimum safe distance of 2m. And for net barrier sports, players must stay on opposite sides of the net.

A maximum of 50 participants will be allowed in venues at any time, and schools are to remain in their designated areas to minimise intermingling between students across schools, the ministry said. 

No spectators will be allowed.

MOE said that it will monitor the situation closely, and work with sports councils and schools to ensure the games are conducted safely. 

“Should the situation evolve, we will review our plans in tandem with the national posture.”

The annual games typically start with zonal rounds in January and run till August.

They were cancelled last year due to the pandemic, with MOE saying then that there was insufficient time to complete the season within the remainder of the 2020 school calendar.

Related topics

Sports school MOE National School Games Covid-19

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