Sports & Fun Day for 450 Disabled

Singapore, 2 March 2001 – Some 450 clients from five welfare organisations for people with disabilities gathered at Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) Stadium this morning to pit their athlete abilities at the SPD Sports Day 2001.

This annual sporting event is organised by The Society for the Physically Disabled (SPD). Besides SPD’s own Day Activity Centre (DAC) and Work Activitiy Centre, the other participating organisations include Metta Welfare Association DAC, SUN-DAC Chai Chee Branch, SUN-DAC Choa Chu Kang Branch, Movement for the Intellectually Disabled (MINDS) Ang Mo Kio TDC, MINDS Clementi TDC, MINDS Yio Chu Kang Employment Development Centre, SIA-MINDS Employment Development Centre, MINDS Idea Employment Development Centre and GROW Workshop of Spastic Children’s Association.

The Day Activity Centres (DACs) and Training and Development Centres (TDCs) are day care centres that provide professional and rehabilitative services to people with disabilities who are less independent owing to severity of their disabilities. The rehabilitation programmes also provide relief to the caregivers during the day so that they can go to work with the peace of mind that their disabled family members are professionally cared for. On the other hand, Sheltered Workshops provide employment under a sheltered environment for the higher functioning disabled clients who can perform simple and repetitive tasks.

Sports is especially important for people with disabilities in rehabilitation. It is a popular physical therapy adopted by the DACs to help rehabilitate people with disabilities. For people with disabilities, sports is not just about competition and winning, it has therapeutic value as well. Sporting activities can improve the disabled person’s sensory coordination, muscle coordination and sense of balance. Additionally, participation in sports and recreation increases the self-confidence of people with disabilities through sporting achievements and social integration.

SPD Sports Day 2001 provides an opportunity for people with disabilities from various Day Activity Centres and Sheltered Workshops in Singapore to socialize and to enjoy some friendly competition and fun games together. It is also a chance for the family members of the clients and staff of participating welfare organisations to interact and to network. Among the sporting events are Wheel-wagon, Wheelchair Sprint and Wheelchair Relay.

“Sports and games not only play an important role in physical therapy and rehabilitation for people with disabilities but also allow them to realise the full potential of their physical ability. The fun and excitement generated by the games also add therapeutic effect for the disabled. “, said Mr Koh Nai Teck, President of The Society for the Physically Disabled.

The event was made possible through the consistent, warm support of Nanyang Polytechnic. The Occupational Therapy students and lecturers from the Polytechnic have been the backbone of this event, providing volunteer support on the day of the event, in games and activities planning and other logistics. SPD was also allowed to use the NYP stadium at no cost.