By Cheryl Tay
HE DREAMS of the day when he can represent his school in go-karting.
Eleven-year-old Tan De Shuen has been karting for three years even though his school - Maris Stella High School (Primary) - does not offer the sport as a Co-Curricular Activity (CCA).
In fact, go-karting is not included as a CCA in all schools in Singapore.
But that could all change in the near future.
The New Paper understands that the Singapore Motor Sport Association (SMSA) and the Singapore Sports Council (SSC) are lobbying for go-karting to be included as a CCA in schools.
"We are organising the Singapore National Karting Championship this year with the SMSA. Ultimately, it is the Ministry of Education (MOE) who can approve karting as a CCA in schools. We can only support and provide assistance," said Oon Jin Teik, chief executive officer of the SSC.
Fan Chian Jen, the deputy director of SSC's the Motor Sports Industry Department, told The New Paper that schools can introduce karting to their students without it being included as an official CCA.
He said: "We have the Sports Education Programme (SEP) where schools can choose from a list of service providers and include the sport in their school without waiting for it to be listed as an official CCA."
SEP-endorsed programmes must first be approved by an assessment panel consisting of representatives from the MOE, schools, SSC, sports educators and practitioners.
Endorsement of programmes is renewed on a yearly basis and schools that opt for SEP will be given a grant to take up sports programmes from the SEP-endorsed list.
"As part of our efforts to promote karting in schools, we are taking a multi-tier approach that will take time," said Fan.
"We intend to get principals and teachers to try out karting first, so as to expose them to the benefits of the sport."
The SMSA is of the view that karting is a key area of motorsport development in nurturing young drivers.
"The SMSA is planning to work with CS Racing - a service provider registered under SEP - to initiate a pilot project for karting in schools," said Tan Teng Lip, president of the SMSA.
"We will identify a handful of schools that may be keen to include karting as one of the sports. More schools will be approached if the response is good."
Allan Teo, the director of Kartright Speedway - a $2 million competition- grade karting circuit located at Upper Jurong Road - has prepared an 80-page CCA curriculum for karting.
The curriculum consists of three parts - fitness, theory and karting techniques.
Covering all aspects of the art and science of karting, courses can be tailored to suit individual's needs and abilities.
The curriculum is almost complete and can be designed into two- or four-year programmes depending on the CCA requirements in schools.