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Virtually Towards A Stronger Singapore

2020 National Day Celebrations

National Day celebrations at Singapore Sports School took on a different format this year, but was no less significant. Aligned to this year’s National Day theme, Together, A Stronger Singapore, Sports School planned class-based activities for student-athletes to reflect on the important role they play in pushing Singapore forward.

Leading up to National Day, interesting videos were shown to student-athletes to share Singapore’s history and invoke a sense of national pride. Among the online material that was put together for them was the Lessons From The Champions series. In the school’s first online Lessons From The Champions series that is typically held through a face-to-face session with sport champions during assembly, badminton player Loh Kean Yew and swimmer Pang Sheng Jun, were featured.

The alumni shared their competition experiences, challenges, and their motivation to work towards achieving their goals. Their candid sharing aimed to inspire and motivate student-athletes to continue chasing their dreams to don the national colours to represent Singapore, despite the changes that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to their lives.

National Day celebrations culminated on 7 August 2020, with a video presentation of the National Day Observance Ceremony and an online Learning Journey Programme. The online Learning Journey brought student-athletes through the lives of migrant workers, particularly those from Bangladesh, to help student-athletes understand their background, challenges, struggles and even prejudices faced in Singapore.

The online learning experience was a timely one as COVID-19 has shed light on the living conditions and issues faced by migrant workers. As COVID-19 has also taught Singaporeans the importance of having solidarity and inclusivity in our society to fight the disruptions caused by the pandemic, the learning journey was relevant to the current times, and necessary for student-athletes to have social awareness and role model in showing respect and empathy for all in our society.

The Learning Journey was a good start for them to embark on Project Dhan'yabāda, which means "Thank You" in Bengali. Student-athletes wrote appreciation notes and hand-made picture frames using ice cream sticks for migrant workers.

The appreciation notes and pictures frames were included in the care packs that were prepared by Year 5 student-athletes from IBDP as part of their Values In Action project. The care packs were given to about 350 migrant workers who are currently residing at the former Innova Junior College.

Student-athletes also engaged in an interesting session with their Academy mentors where they watched videos about Singapore’s past, how Singapore has overcome past crisis and how it came together to fight COVID-19. The videos helped student-athletes reflect and share their thoughts on what it means to them to be a Singaporean, and how they can contribute towards a stronger future. At the end of the interactive session, student-athletes sang two popular National Day songs – Home and Count On Me Singapore – with gusto and pride. The enriching morning ended with student-athletes enjoying their bento sets with a good mix of local flavours.

This year’s National Day celebrations tugged the heartstrings of student-athletes. The enriching programme was meaningful and helped them to open up their minds and hearts, and think about the importance of building Together, A Stronger Singapore.

What They Said...

“The world already looks different today and it will only continue to change. But this is your world to create – one where there will be new habits to build, new ways of engaging with one another and new opportunities to seize – both locally and globally. I am confident that you will rise to this challenge to build a better home in Singapore, one where we all belong, where we find strength in diversity, and where we treat one another with compassion and kindness. Together, and only together, can we be a stronger Singapore.”
– Mr Lawrence Wong, Minister for Education

“Singapore is what it is today, because its people stood together – from our forefathers, who were migrants from different countries, each generation build upon the work of the previous generation, to give us the Singapore we see today… May this spirit of gratitude, glow in our hearts, as we remember Singapore’s 55th Birthday! Let us be grateful to the migrant workers, our families, teachers, coaches, mentors, cleaning staff and other workers in our schools, and all who have contributed to giving us what we have.”
– Mr Ong Kim Soon, Principal of Singapore Sports School

“Every time we’re on the podium and the National Anthem is being played, I feel this chill just go down my spine and I feel a strong sense of national pride… So imagine, we’re singing the National Anthem and we can feel the whole stadium echoing and singing along with us during the National Anthem. It’s really an undescribable feeling, but you feel just so proud to be Singaporean.”
– Pang Sheng Jun, Swimming Academy alumnus (2005 – 2008)

“My dream for Singapore is to continue to evolve and grow together as a nation. We have come such a long way and we have put this little red dot on the map. I hope that we will continue to be kind to one another, and respect each other regardless of race and religion.”
– Bernice Lim Hui Ying, Bowling Academy alumna (2004 – 2007)

"To me, being Singaporean means being able to be myself, staying true to my individual values, and at the same time being part of a bigger family of different individuals that have similar goals. It also means always having an opportunity to chase my dreams, and having tremendous support at every step of the way."
– Irsyad Mohammad Said, Track and Field Academy, IBDP Year 5