These are the values that youths can learn through sports.

According to the 2016 National Sports Participation Survey (NSPS)* released by Sport Singapore, most people surveyed believed that sports not only improved physical health but also strengthens mental health by enforcing positive values.

These are values that sports can teach our youths, for life:

1. Commitment

To eleven-year-old Rizky, one of Football Plus’ soccer academy members, football is more than a sport to him. He looks forward to his weekly training sessions, and cites Roberto Firmino as his favourite athlete. One value he has learnt through these programmes is commitment, through the tough basics of attending the trainings and drills week in and week out. Rizky’s mother Sazlinah notes that upon joining the programme, Rizky has become more independent and confident in his self-esteem.

2. Teamwork


Teamwork is a valuable life skill they can learn through participating in sports. Being part of a team teaches youths to learn about camaraderie and build stronger bonds while training and playing as one. No point is scored in isolation, as they learn that every player needs to work together to accomplish their goals. One sport activity that builds teamwork is Dragon Boating organised by REACH Community Services. This sport requires every single rower to pull their weight and time their strokes together in careful precision. As the youths train together, they end up spending more time building and affirming each other positively. They will learn the importance of their role in the bigger team, and appreciating the relationships built through the sport.

3. Respect


One value that is highly important in sports today is the value of respect and sportsmanship. Through playing against other individuals and teams, the youths learn the value of respecting the rules and the players of the sport. This helps them to learn how to achieve their goals in the right way, teaching important life lessons about this value.

4. Confidence


Through their SWISH Youth Programme, Care Community Services Society aims to use Basketball as a channel to provide a safe space for youths to engage, grow in confidence and be empowered with character-building values and essential life skills. Coaches and volunteers also provide mentoring and guidance after the practice sessions to grow these youths in their self-confidence.

5. Leadership skills


Every sporting team aims to win and achieve their goals, and this competitive environment brings out the desire and leadership potential of individuals. The sports field is a highly interactive platform that allows for communication, and thus many leadership opportunities or “moments” for young people to gain leadership experience. This might not be possible in other environments such as the classroom. They will learn to develop empathy for fellow team members, and learn to lead oneself and others. Some of the sports programmes youths even put their newly acquired leadership skills into practice, by giving back through planning and carrying out initiatives for the elderly and disadvantaged children in their community.

Special thanks for the photos provided:
REACH Community ServicesSingapore Sailing FederationFootball Plus.

*2016 National Sports Participation Survey (NSPS): Source link