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Here’s how the authorities are helping people with disabilities take up sports

We refer to the letter by Ms Chris-Hortin Tan. (More needs to be done to help people with disabilities take up physical activities, June 30)
Some 37 swimmers participated in the National Para Swimming Championships 2022, which was held on 29 April 2022. It was the first time in three years that the event was held, with the last edition of the event held in 2019.<br />
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Some 37 swimmers participated in the National Para Swimming Championships 2022, which was held on 29 April 2022. It was the first time in three years that the event was held, with the last edition of the event held in 2019.
 
Marcus Tan, Kelly Fan

We refer to the letter by Ms Chris-Hortin Tan. (More needs to be done to help people with disabilities take up physical activities, June 30)

We are heartened that Ms Tan is leading an active lifestyle and encouraging other persons with disabilities to do likewise, and we thank Ms Tan for her suggestions.

Sport Singapore (SportSG) and the Singapore Disability Sports Council (SDSC) have been working with various partners, including Runninghour, to improve accessibility to facilities, increase participation opportunities and initiatives that bolster interactions between persons with disabilities and the general community, as well as strengthen capabilities in the ecosystem.

Today, all upcoming, new and rejuvenated sport centres are built in accordance with the Building and Construction Authority Code on Accessibility. In addition, all ActiveSG gyms are planned to be inclusive by 2026.

SportSG recognises that hardware is only one part of the equation, and trains sport centre staff to be able to guide and serve persons with disabilities who visit the sport centres.

As part of our continued efforts to enhance accessibility of our sport centres, we hold regular engagements with the community — most recently a discussion track on facilities as part of a series of Disability Sport Dialogues.

SDSC and SportSG have initiated several programmes to facilitate understanding and interaction between persons with and without disabilities from a young age.

For example, SDSC delivers ParaAble, a programme that introduces Paralympic sports such as goalball to students from mainstream schools, and the I'mPOSSIBLE programme which saw more than 300 educators from preschool to tertiary levels voluntarily trained to share the Paralympic values of "courage, determination, equality and inspiration" with their students. 

SportSG partners Special Olympics Singapore to organise Play Inclusive, an annual event that brings students from mainstream and special education schools together to form “Unified Teams” to participate in friendly competition.

The recently launched ActiveSG Para Sport Academy will drive the integration of disability and mainstream sports in the ActiveSG Academies and Clubs.

It will also provide aspiring para-athletes a clear pathway from recreational participation to high performance sport.

We have collaborated with public and private sector organisations to organise multi-sport tryouts so persons with disabilities can learn about the many sporting options available.

These events enlist the support of volunteers and coaches, many of whom start out without experience coaching persons with disabilities, and learn through such opportunities.

As the disability sport ecosystem grows, we encourage coaches and volunteers of all experience levels to join us in delivering a growing list of programmes and events so that all persons with disabilities can reap the benefits of sport and physical activity.

ABOUT THE WRITERS:

Marcus Tan is chief of Sport Development Group at Sport Singapore (SportSG) and Kelly Fan is executive director of Singapore Disability Sports Council (SDSC). SportSg and SDSC are respectively the national sports and disability sports bodies.

Have views on this issue or a news topic you care about? Send your letter to voices [at] mediacorp.com.sg with your full name, address and phone number.

Related topics

Sports health exercise disabilities SportSG Singapore Disability Sports Council

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