Empowering Youth Through Sport: A Glimpse into SportCares Youth Coaching Development Pathway
In the heart of Yishun, a community is being introduced to the power of sport, with two dedicated youth coaches from SportCares' Youth Coaching Development Pathway (YCDP) initiative playing an important role. As part of the Fun Starters programme in partnership with Temasek Foundation, these coaches impart fundamental sports skills and instil values that go beyond the field of play.
SportCares, the philanthropic arm of Sport Singapore, has long been committed to leveraging sport as a tool for positive social change. The YCDP is one such initiative aimed at nurturing youth coaches who, in turn, contribute to engaging the broader community through sport.
Meet 28-year-old Muhammad Fadhil Bin Ishak and 21-year-old Matin Nufael Rizal, two youth coaches who have come through the YCDP initiative and embraced their roles in Fun Starters with enthusiasm, making a significant impact on the lives of the participants in Yishun.
Fadhil, a former SportCares participant, found his calling in coaching through SportCares. He said, "Being part of YCDP was transformative. It's not just about teaching sports skills; it's about building character and fostering a sense of community. The Fun Starters Programme is where we lay the foundation for a lifelong love of sports."
Matin, on the other hand, discovered his passion for coaching while interning with SportCares in 2021. "YCDP provided me with the necessary tools and mentorship to transition from a volunteer to a certified coach. Now, I'm inspired to be contributing to the community through sport," he added.
Fun Starters in Yishun focuses on introducing children aged 5 to 12 to various sports in an engaging and fun environment. Under the guidance of lead coach Sheik Abdul Rahman, who is assisted by Fadhil and Matin, these young participants are not just learning to kick a ball or score goals but picking up essential life skills such as teamwork, perseverance, and discipline.
One of the key aspects of the programme is its emphasis on inclusivity. Matin explained, "We want every child to feel included and valued. It's about creating a space where every child feels confident to participate and enjoy the process of learning."
The team behind the Fun Starters also works closely with parents, emphasising the overall development of their children. Regular communication sessions and workshops are organised to provide parents with insights into the positive influence of sports on a child's physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
YCDP ensures that coaches like Fadhil and Matin possess the technical expertise of sports coaching and understand the social dynamics of the communities they serve. By fostering a sense of ownership and responsibility among these coaches, SportCares aims to create a sustainable model for community development through sport.
As Fun Starters gains momentum in Yishun, the influence on the community becomes clear. Parents share updates with the team of administrators and coaches on the positive changes they observe in their children. The camaraderie among the children fosters a community spirit that extends beyond the programme.
The SportCares Youth Coaching Development Pathway is not just producing skilled coaches; it's cultivating community leaders who are shaping the future through sport. Fadhil and Matin demonstrate the transformative power of sports coaching, proving that with the proper guidance, passion, and commitment, a community can be uplifted, one participant at a time.
And the Fun Starters programme in Yishun is a testament to the continuing impact of SportCares' vision – changing lives through sport.