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Smiles All Round At Rainbow Centre

Values in Action: Football Academy

By Jayden Jarome Liew
Football Academy, Secondary 4

On 23 and 30 April 2021, 16 Secondary 4 and 5 student-athletes from Singapore Sports School’s Football Academy visited Rainbow Centre Yishun Park School (Woodlands) for a Values in Action project. Our objective for the two-day VIA was to guide the students in simple physical activities.

My Secondary 4 teammate Aryan Bahadur Chhetri and I were in charge of planning the activities. The main activity involved the students holding a ball and jumping over low hurdles in a relay format. We were told that they were learning how to hop in school and wanted to reinforce their newly acquired skill through a fun activity.

During the sessions, my teammates and I were in charge of supervising the children while they carried out the exercise, following them closely as they hopped to ensure that they did it in a safe manner. After each relay, we exchanged high fives them to encourage them. The look of joy on their faces brought smiles on each of our faces too.

We had planned to carry out the same activities on the second session on 30 April as we wanted to familiarise the children with the activity. While it rained and forced us to take the activity indoors, it did not dampen their spirits.

Before we left the school, we spent some time bonding with the kids over small conversations. When it was time to leave, we all were quite reluctant to go as we were enjoying our interaction with them.

One of my takeaways from this project is that communication is key for a smooth execution of the planned activity. The children also taught me about the importance of patience in forming relationships, especially among those with special needs.

A common takeaway that my teammates and I shared as a result of the project was a mindset shift in our perspective on the children with special needs. Despite our short interaction with them, we were touched by the encounters with the children.

We had embarked on this project with the intention of increasing our understanding of children with special needs and developing empathy for people who are less fortunate than us. While we went there to impart skills to the children, we received much more by the end of the two sessions.