Close to 200 students participated in 4th annual edition of Play Inclusive
(Attendees of Play Inclusive Finale 2021 - Photo by SportCares)
Play Inclusive 2021 successfully concluded on 5 November via an online Zoom Finale interactive session with all participants, unified partners, teachers and families. It brought to an end, a 3-month programme which was jointly organised by Special Olympics Singapore and SportCares, with additional support from the Ministry of Education, Special Education Branch.
Play Inclusive, which first began in 2018, is an ongoing campaign to promote inclusion in the community through shared sporting experiences between persons with/without disabilities (PWD). And the main goal is to bring together community partners, the special education schools and disability centres, as well as mainstream schools (respectively), to create more opportunities for the PWD community to play sports and interact with students from mainstream institutions.
This year’s campaign saw 197 players from 12 SPED schools & centres, and 12 partner schools exercising online together from August to October, with a number of teams co-creating and practising the “Cheer For Inclusion” routine.
(Selected Zoom Images of the Cheer for Inclusion routine by 4 schools listed above)
In the 2021 Play Inclusive edition, the initial plans for physical training and competitions among the students were cancelled and the campaign pivoted back to the virtual platform, due to periods of tightened measures related to Covid-19.
This year, there was also an added element of “Cheer For Inclusion”, where the organisers created a Cheer, and the inclusive teams had to choreograph/perform their own cheer routines, after attending an online workshop by Cheerleading Association (Singapore). And even though the programme had reverted back to a hybrid online format, the attendance saw a stunning 70% increase from 114 in 2020 to 197 participants this year.
Click on this link for the Opening Speech by Mr Marcus Tan (Chief of Sport Development Group, Sport Singapore) at Play Inclusive Finale 2021.
Mr Marcus Tan (Chief of Sport Development Group, Sport Singapore)
One of the pairings this year saw the partnership between Delta Senior School and ITE College West. Both schools have been involved together with this campaign since 2019.
Ms Michelle Tan (Head of Fitness and Health, CCA, Delta Senior School), with her thoughts on their continued involvement in Play Inclusive. (Click link to watch)
Ms Michelle Tan (Delta Senior School)
Echoing Michelle’s sentiments is Ms Ngiam Huey Huey (Senior Head of Community Engagement Student Development, College Services Division, ITE College West), on the key values which student participants have learnt over the years.
New partnerships in Play Inclusive 2021 include CHIJ Primary (Toa Payoh) and Pathlight School. Click the interesting video here with comments from teachers and students of both schools.
About 450 players took part in the inaugural event in 2018 and closed to 800 players participated in 5 sports in 2019. In 2020, the campaign was shifted to virtual platforms (from Aug to early Nov) due to safety restrictions. 114 players from 11 mainstream and 10 special education schools were teamed together online to exercise together for 6-8 weeks prior the Hybrid Finale event on 7 November.
Here’s Dr Teo-Koh Sock Miang (President, Special Olympics Singapore) with her inspiring closing speech on 5 Nov 2021.
Article prepared by Raj Kumar
Raj Kumar’s been in Singapore’s sports reporting and broadcasting scene since 1997. He was the former Sports Editor and Presenter on Power 98FM (SAFRA Radio) and 938LIVE (Mediacorp Radio). Over the years, he travelled to report on Team Singapore at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2012 London Olympiad, including 4 SEA Games cities. As a familiar voice and face on Radio, TV and online sports, he has produced and hosted more than 650 talkshows and programmes.
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