Celebrating 10 years of Changing Lives Through Sport
Over the past decade, SportCares, Sport Singapore’s philanthropic arm has reached more than 40,000 beneficiaries – children and youth-at-risk, isolated seniors and persons with disabilities (PwDs) – through sport.
The key reflections and learnings from delivering over 20 programmes to these segments and insights working with at least 100 partners from social service agencies to corporates, have been encapsulated in the SportCares HEARTS book. The resource guide is available here for organisations, corporations and schools that wish to leverage sport for social good.
The HEARTS book was launched by SportCares patron President Halimah Yacob at the SportCares 10-Year Anniversary Dinner at Our Tampines Hub this evening which saw more than 500 beneficiaries, partners, and sponsors in attendance.
The SportCares Awards also made a return at the event, after a two-year hiatus during the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s edition honoured 19 individuals, including a group of youth instructors, and five organisations, that have been exemplary in using sport to empower at-risk and/or underprivileged children and youths, isolated seniors and PwDs to make positive changes in their lives.
At the event, President Halimah commended the awardees and other SportCares’ community partners for their contributions: “All of us have a role to play in building a more inclusive sporting Singapore. It is through the collective effort of all that we are able to realise a common vision of serving our communities, and it is attributed to every single one of you for coming together and championing the use of sport as a force for good.”
Amongst the attendees were players from SportCares’ flagship Saturday Night Lights (SNL) football programme, including Yugesh Kannan, who joined SNL in 2016 and is now a youth coach.
Speaking about how SportCares played a positive influence in his life, Yugesh shared: “To say I grew up at SportCares is not far from the truth. Through my time with SportCares, I have picked up essential life skills like leadership and resilience which helped me become a more mature individual. And these skills are still relevant to me as I pursue my degree in Political Science at NUS. I encourage all SportCares participants to use the available avenues to hone their talent and skills. I hope many more will benefit, just like I did. I am where I am today because of everyone who has guided me along the way, in and outside of sport.”
Mr Edwin Tong, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Second Minister for Law said, “Sports can make a tremendous difference to our society, in so many ways. Tonight, we heard several deeply inspiring stories, of how sport has helped people uplift themselves and to live out the SportCares’ values of discipline, respect, empathy and resilience in their daily lives.”
“As we look back at the past decade, I am very grateful for how SportCares has left a deep social legacy through the use of sports, creating inclusive communities of care and support in the SportCares network. I have every confidence that SportCares will continue to forge new ground, to provide greater access and opportunities in sport, to benefit even more at-risk children and youths, isolated seniors and persons with disabilities.” continued Minister Tong.
A series of celebratory events throughout the year, each catering to one of SportCares’ target segments, were organised to commemorate the 10th year milestone. The Anniversary Dinner, a culmination of the celebrations, saw performances by SportCares participants from the CareRunners programme, and a photo exhibition led by professional photographer, Ms Ada Zhang.
The exhibition featured photographs of the earlier 10-year anniversary celebrations and a selection of SportCares programmes over the years, as well as photographs taken by three SNL youths from the SNL programme – Diyanah Ismail, Nur Syafinie Putri Rashid and Nur Syafina Putri Rashid – mentored by Ms Zhang. The photo exhibition was sponsored by Li Foundation, a key supporter of SportCares.
In 2016, SportCares expanded its target segments beyond at-risk and low-income children and youth, serving persons with disabilities and special needs as part of the recommendations of the Disability Sport Master Plan, as well as isolated seniors. As SportCares celebrates its 10th anniversary, it will focus its effort on making a greater impact in the lives of the vulnerable and underserved.
Mr Lim Teck Yin, CEO, Sport Singapore added, “As part of our Vision 2030 masterplan, Sport Singapore committed to working with communities to reach out and impact lives through positive role modelling and experiences through sport. We have learned much about how genuine care and relationships forged on the field provide hope and fuel belief in oneself, creating the impetus to emerge stronger and more determined to live better.
“These 10 years have shown that sport is a powerful platform to bring positive change in the lives of those in need of a caring heart and hand. We look forward to building our network of partners to broaden outreach and sensibilities on how we can all pitch in to positively impact lives.”