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Sports School Part Of A Thriving Sports Ecosystem

Partnership with Sport Agencies

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Nurturing Learned Champions With Character® – Sports School has to deliver its mission of grooming the next generation of champions through superior sport programmes, top-notched coaching and international standard facilities. We cannot accomplish our mission without the strong support of sport agencies – namely Singapore National Olympics Council (SNOC), Singapore Sport Institute (SSI)/Sport Singapore (SportSG) and National Sports Associations (NSAs).

Partnership to develop a high-performance sport ecosystem
Since the School opened its door to aspiring athletes in 2004, many top athletes have been produced, such as Singapore’s top shuttlers Yeo Jia Min and Loh Kean Yew, and sprint queen Veronica Shanti Pereira. During their years at the Sports School, they were able to pursue their sporting dreams while balancing studies through the School’s athlete-friendly programme. Many of them went on to pursue sport at a higher level and join the national team to represent Singapore at Major Games. Singapore Sports School, being a pipeline for athletes into the national team, is naturally a close partner of the SNOC, SSI/SportSG and respective NSAs, as we share the same goal and mission to produce and support sport champions for the nation.

To steer the direction of sport development, Sports School engages in meaningful conversations with SSI/SportSG and the NSAs through the Joint Management Committee (JMC), a discussion platform brought together by SSI to integrate support for various sports. Some of our General Managers and Sports staff also sit in various committees in the NSAs to steer conversations and have an influence in the overall youth development for the sports. Likewise, to support youth athletes, the School also works with SNOC to recognise deserving student-athletes by nominating them for the annual Singapore Olympic Foundation-Peter Lim Scholarship. The Tan Howe Liang Excellence Award was also set up by SNOC in January 2021 to recognise outstanding male student-athletes in their graduating years.

Partnership to support long-term athlete development
Student-athletes normally join the Sports School at 13 years old at Secondary 1. The NSA partnership plays an important role in the identification and selection of student-athletes, especially student-athletes in the Individual Programme where NSA endorsement is mandatory as their training and competition plans will require the support from the NSAs.

Students as young as primary 4 may already be part of the Sports School ecosystem by taking part in our pre-Sports School programmes. The pre-Sports School programmes, grounded on the philosophy of Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD), are designed to expose young players to the sport and develop their potential to excel in the sport. Some of the programmes are delivered in partnership with the NSAs.

The Table Tennis’ pre-Sports School programme is one of such programmes that is launched with the Singapore Table Tennis Association (STTA). Sports School is set up as one of the eight Zone Training Centres by STTA that aims to develop budding talents for the association’s Junior Development Squad.

The Learn-To-Shoot programme by the Shooting Academy is another programme jointly organised with the Singapore Shooting Association with the intention to introduce Primary 5 and 6 pupils to the sport and invite them to join the Sports School at Secondary 1 for further development.

The Track and Field Academy jointly holds the Singapore Sports School-Singapore Athletics Association Primary School Track and Field Invitational Meet, an annual carnival-style meet to give Primary schools athletes an additional opportunities to pit their skills against their competitors.

Sports School’s Football Academy supports competitions organised by Football Association of Singapore, such as the 2019 Under 15 International Challenge Cup, which expose players to different teams from overseas and their varying styles of play.

Partnership to provide greater alignment to national setup
The strong partnership with NSAs is important in ensuring greater alignment of the School’s training programmes to the national setup. The Sports School Bowling Academy partners the Singapore Bowling Federation (SBF) in 2008 to become the first Centre of Excellence (COE) that runs the National Youth Development Programme, a structured training programme for our National Development Squad bowlers. SBF’s Head Coach (Development) Francis Yeo is also seconded as the Head Coach of the Sports School Bowling Academy to oversee the bowling programme in the Sports School. This partnership leads to greater alignment of the School’s training programme to that of the national setup while allowing our youth athletes to train at the comfort of our Bowling Centre.

Besides the partnership with SBF, the partnerships with Singapore Badminton Association (SBA) and Singapore Table Tennis Association (STTA) have also facilitated the secondment of Nunung Wibiyanto, as well as Sun Beibei and Dong Shifei, to oversee the development of our youth athletes in the Badminton Academy and Table Tennis Academy respectively. Their wealth of experience with the NSAs help to ensure greater alignment of the School’s programme to that of the national setup.

The appointment of our coaches in the national team also allows them to be plugged in to the larger sport ecosystem. Head Coach of the Netball Academy, Lindsay McDonald Filiata, is appointed by Netball Singapore as the Under 19 Tertiary and National Coach in 2020. With a number of our student-athletes being inducted into the Zonal and National 17 & Under teams, 19 & Under Schools and Tertiary, and the National U21 squads and teams, her appointment by the association ensures training is aligned with the national setup, thus facilitating a more seamless transition of our netballers into the senior team.

Partnership to provide a smooth transition into the national team
The strategic partnership with the NSAs is also key in developing youth athletes and providing them with a smooth transition from the intermediate squad into the national team. The School-Within-A-School (SWS) programme for Badminton and Table Tennis is one of such collaborations.

The Badminton Academy SWS programme, led by Sports School’s Head Coach Gong Ge and four other coaches doubling up as National Intermediate Squad (NIS) coaches, aims to maximise the potential of our student-athletes to meet the criteria of the NIS.

The Table Tennis Academy SWS programme roped in Jing Junhong, Head of National Youth Development and former head coach of the national senior team to oversee youth development, including the SWS training programme.

Such unique collaboration results in greater alignment of the SWS to the national programme, and sees an overall rise in standard of our student-athletes. Since the SWS programme began in 2011, our shuttlers and paddlers have achieved notable results at the regional level.

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