Sports is more than just keeping fit! Find out what these gamechangers are doing to empower others through sports.
Sports and fitness are seen as a way to keep fit, stay healthy or just to have some fun. But these two athletes are taking it to the next level by incorporating what they love in their giving journey! We ask them what keeps them running and how sports has played a part in empowering youths.
Head Coach, Young Lions
A household name and Singapore’s most well-known soccer player, Fandi Ahmad leads by example and has been giving back in various ways like supporting NVPC’s Giving Week or Club Rainbow’s efforts to help chronically-ill kids and their families.
You’ve been a long time supporter of Club Rainbow. Can you share a bit more about this cause?
Helping and advocating for children’s needs has always been close to my heart. When a child is ill, the entire family goes through a trying experience. Club Rainbow helps to strengthen the family’s resolve to get through it. I respect and appreciate this, because support and care for each other is very important during difficult times and sometimes we need external help to remind us of what a family unit is made of.
How has sports played a part in your giving journey?
Sports has no boundaries. Regardless of your background, it has the power to bring people together. Over the years I have used sports as a way of reaching out to kids through soccer clinics and coaching. My interactions with them as an athlete enables me to motivate and inspire them to be better versions of themselves.
What spurs you on your giving journey and how do you keep it going despite your busy schedule?
Sports legend Muhammad Ali once said, “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” As someone who respects him greatly, I hold these words close to my heart. There is no magic needed in helping other, because all one needs is a willing mind and heart!
The humble don’t stumble. Humility helps us to stay grounded, it reminds us never to take anything for granted. My dad taught me this and I have always carried his words with me. Humility has taught me gratitude, respect and appreciation for others. When people feel that you genuinely care, they reciprocate. That becomes a positive cycle in the grand scheme of life.
Head Coach, Young Lions
Head of CrossFit kids & teens, Innervate Fitness
Captivated by fitness first-hand and having experienced the profound impact of CrossFit, Lionel Choong saw an opportunity to use fitness to touch the lives of others, spurring him on his giving journey.
Can you tell us a bit more about Innervate Fitness and how it seeks to impact young lives?
At Innervate Fitness, we aim to use fitness for a cause, provide fitness for all and also encourage family fitness. Through these means, we hope to build a community around fitness and use fitness as a medium to better oneself.
We also seek to impact young lives as the lead organising body of Operation Broken Wing, a charity fitness event that brings together the entire fitness community in Singapore, with the aim of using fitness for good and raising money for youth-at-risk through workout sessions.
Quite a number of your initiatives supports youth-at-risk. Is there something that drove you to this group in society?
I wanted to support youth-at-risk because this is a group where I believe we can make the biggest and most significant difference – to change and alter their life’s trajectory in big ways. Despite their upbringing or current circumstances, our ability to help them will truly change and impact their lives moving forward.
How has fitness played a part in your giving journey?
Fitness has been a rallying point to help youths-at-risk believe in themselves, opening their eyes to see that they are not defined simply by grades, looks or stature; because in the gym – everyone is equal.