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Building Youth Athletes For The Future

National Youth Sports Institute

Behind every student-athlete at Singapore Sports School, is a whole community working towards their success. While the Sports School provides the infrastructure, sports and academic programmes, and manpower for student-athletes to thrive, their sporting pursuits cannot be realised without strong support from the youth sport eco-system.

The National Youth Sports Institute (NYSI) is the reality of the support Sports School receives as it was specially set-up in 2016 within 1 Champions Way itself to be a centre of excellence that guides future champions towards their dreams. NYSI shares its expertise and provides support to Sports School and high-performing athletes outside of Sports School in athlete life management, youth coaching, sport science and talent identification, with the aim of raising the standards of Singapore’s youth sport development.

NYSI plays a pivotal role in Sports School from working collaboratively to identify potential candidates from a young age, till supporting student-athletes in their sporting pursuits until they graduate. They also review Sport School’s training programmes and organise sessions for coaches to level up their skills so that the school can deliver the optimal sport training and education to student-athletes.

“NYSI deliberately housed its first hub within Sport School’s campus so that sport scientists and support staff are in close proximity to youth sport talents, training sessions and competitions. Using the same physical space also enables us collaborate and co-create with Sports School’s staff to benefit student-athletes in their sport development,” shared Dr Low Chee Yong, Deputy Director of Sports Science at NYSI.

Recently, when the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in an almost 8-week circuit breaker, NYSI stepped up to reach out to youth sport athletes, including Sports School’s student-athletes. They organised several webinar sessions and tips for coaches and student-athletes to share information and knowledge to cope with home-based life and training. This includes sharing on proper nutrition, sport science, time management, sleep recovery and physiology. They also extended teleconsultation sessions for student-athletes who required advice on their mental wellness and nutrition, and physiotherapy. NYSI also conducted a module on building awareness for some of our sport academies to complement the physical training they were receiving with mental skills. They also conducted sport science sessions on injury prevention with student-athletes in the individual programme.

Gymnast Sophia Ho who attended the sport science session on injury prevention and receives online physiotherapy sessions is appreciative of the strong support she has received from NYSI that has helped her progress in her sport. She said, “When I first needed physiotherapy sessions, it was convenient to get consultation from a physiotherapist within our campus itself as it saved me time and effort. Just a week after circuit breaker started, I felt a strain at my toe and the physiotherapist has had sessions with me online to remove the strain so that I could comfortably continue with my daily training. I am thankful that I was able to still receive support online immediately while I was adjusting to home-based training.”

Said Tan Bee Lian, Director of Sports at Singapore Sports School, “Both Sports School and NYSI are driven by the same mission – to develop youth athletes to their highest potential. With NYSI’s support, Sports School is able to be a one-stop hub for the total development of aspiring athletes. Their expertise and experience enables us to add value to our student-athletes, keep up coaching standards, and deliver robust sport programmes.”