Singapore Sports School: Changes, to reach next level

Singapore Sports School

The Singapore Sports School underwent a strategic review last year after Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong challenged it to become a "national academy of sports excellence" in a decade.

The review was headed by Yeoh Chee Yan, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY), and Sport Singapore chairman Richard Seow.

Speaking at The New Paper School Sports Star award ceremony at the Sports School yesterday, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu announced that the recommendations made by the review committee had been accepted.

Here, TNP looks at some of the key changes after the review.

1) SPORTS SCHOOL INTAKE

The school may gradually decrease its Secondary 1 intake to factor in students who decide to transfer from other schools later, otherwise known as "mid-streamers".

Sports School principal Tan Teck Hock said: "We envisage that the mid-streamers will join us after Secondary 2 or after Secondary 4, and take advantage of our post-secondary programmes."

2) WIDER DIVERSITY OF SPORTS

The bulk of the Sports School students are in its 10 academies, and they train at the school's Woodlands base.

The school also takes in individual athletes from other sports, such as equestrian, and will open its doors for more such athletes from next year, who are "performing at a certain level with the potential to be admitted".

These athletes have the option of not staying in the school's boarding, and will have access to its sports science and medicine services, as well as its flexible academic programme.

3) SPORTS-FOCUSED EDUCATION

From next year, Sports School students will take modules on sports science, physical and mental preparation, injury prevention and management, among others.

Said principal Tan: "We hope to equip our students with a winning mindset, knowledge and skills to accompany their growth and development at the Sports School."

4) ADDITIONAL POST-SECONDARY ACADEMIC OPTIONS

Students under the International Baccalaureate (IB) programme will have the option of finishing the last two years of their studies over four years, instead.

Tan said: "I've been told by the international IB office that there are only 12 schools in the world that offer this extended programme, and we are the only one in Singapore."

Also, the school has tied up with the Institute of Technical Education to offer students a Nitec programme in fitness training, with footballer Gerald Joseph Ting pioneering this new collaboration next year.

Ting said: "The Nitec in fitness training will open many doors for me. The course will teach me how to conduct fitness assessment and personal training, and assist coaches with fitness training. I can work as a fitness instructor or a personal trainer, or extend my training and become a coach."

The school is also working with other polytechnics to offer non-sports related diploma programmes to add to its collaboration with Republic Polytechnic to offer the diploma in sports and leisure management.


This article was first published on November 17, 2015.
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