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Dancing, Passing And Tossing Their Way To Better Sport Abilities
A group of Singapore Sports School Netball Academy’s student-athletes shimmied and waved their arms to the pulsating beat of Latin music, taught by a professional dance instructor. This was one of the multi-sports programmes organised by the Academy to teach student-athletes skills such as agility, coordination and rhythm, as well as to improve their cognitive function.
“The lessons were really enjoyable as we get to see a different side of our friends and we get to know each other more. I find the lessons useful and I feel that some of the movements can help our sport – especially in our hip turns and hand-eye coordination,” shared Secondary 1 netballer Wong Lok Yiu.
Netballers will have a total of six weeks of dance lessons. The dance lessons, which started in April, also promote teamwork, flexibility and social skills.
Other sport academies have also incorporated multi-sports programmes into their regular curriculum. Fencing has arranged for five weeks of floorball lessons, which began in May, for their student-athletes, while Track and Field engages an instructor to teach student-athletes basic frisbee skills, which will take up eight weeks of lessons. These also commenced in April. Shooting holds regular Target Sprint events every week, where shooters have to combine running and shooting. Last year, the Bowling Academy also held floorball lessons in November, while Swimming participated in underwater hockey and water polo lessons.
Such lessons aim to provide student-athletes opportunities to sample different sports in an early phase of their development and to broaden athleticism through physical skills, allowing them to acquire relevant skills through a game-sense approach. The multi-skills concept allows athletes to adapt similar locomotor patterns during training to emphasise skills transference, which is from the Adaptive Skills Training Model (ASTM).
The multi-sports programmes also reinforces related-movement skills for the sport programme and builds on the student-athletes’ future athletic endeavours. This also allows student-athletes to have multiple entry and exit points, should they wish transfer sports under Sports School’s Talent Optimisation Programme in the future.
“The frisbee lessons were very enjoyable even though we only had two to three days of learning the sport. Through learning, I was taught how to throw a frisbee with a backhand or forehand throw. We played a couple of games where we used the skills we learnt in order to win. I learnt to pass the disc to a teammate who’s nearer to me when the defender is very close to me. I can use such skills for track and field, like running and jumping to catch the disc,” said Track and Field student-athlete Muhammad Danial Ryan Mohamed Redzwan (Secondary 2).
Fencing Academy captain, Juliet Heng Jie Min (Secondary 4), found the floorball lessons easy to pick up: “During the lessons, we learnt the basic skills in floorball and how to use them. I think because we are all athletes, we got the hang of it pretty quickly and it was fun. There was not a moment where any of us were bored or didn’t enjoy ourselves.”
“At the end of the floorball lessons, we had a ‘shooting test’ to see if we could hit the targets. My group kept on trying even though it was extremely difficult. We persevered and managed to hit the target. I felt that we learnt the spirit of never giving up, which is something we can put to use in fencing.”