The ability to play should be a function of the type of play and not of one’s (dis)ability. ‘Everyone should play’ is the inner belief that prompted the Temasek Foundation Cares – Play-Ability pilot programme. Play-Ability provides more opportunities for persons with disabilities to participate in recreational sports activities such as badminton, basketball, boccia, sitting volleyball, aqua activities, table tennis and futsal.
Under Play-Ability, sports activities are designed and adapted for persons with disabilities so that they can have fun, bond and socialise with friends, and adopt an active lifestyle. For instance, friends from the Thye Hua Kwan Moral Society (THK) Home for Disabled (Chai Chee) have started learning to play badminton for the first time. To adapt to their needs, balloons instead of shuttlecocks are used for the badminton games. Maimunah Binte Mohamed Nasir, Programme Executive at the THK Home for Disabled Adults shared, “The residents didn’t really like P.E. (physical education) lessons previously, now they look forward to these weekly badminton sessions.”
The three-year pilot programme is supported by Temasek Foundation Cares, in partnership with SportCares, Special Education (SPED) schools and Voluntary Welfare Organisations serving persons with disabilities. It is expected to benefit up to 540 people with disabilities over three years.
Sports facilities such as swimming lanes, basketball and badminton courts are set aside for persons with disabilities weekly, while coaches and volunteers guide and support them in learning sports. Jared Chew, a student volunteer from ITE College West shared his experience. Although he found it challenging at the beginning to communicate with his swim partner, he soon found a way. “Once I realised that he took to certain words, and counting from 1 to 3 helped to calm him down and pay attention, things got easier. I feel like we are friends now and we get along really well,” he shared.
Mr Richard Magnus, Chairman of Temasek Foundation Cares, shared, “Play-Ability is the first programme of its kind that actively promotes a healthy lifestyle amongst persons with disabilities by systematically addressing the obstacles that prevent them from participating in sports. The community-based nature of the programme also creates intentional opportunities for social inclusivity, where persons of all abilities learn, play and bond together.”
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Interested to be a volunteer?
If you are a sports enthusiast or coach who would like to volunteer to support and teach participants under the Play-Ability programme, please email to firstname.lastname@example.org
About Temasek Foundation Cares
Temasek Foundation Cares is one of the six non-profit philanthropic organisations set up by Temasek and sponsored through Temasek Trust.
Temasek Foundation Cares funds and supports meaningful and innovative community-based programmes for the benefit of Singaporeans. It aims to contribute to the well-being, dignity and livelihood of needy individuals, families and communities by building people, building communities, building capabilities and rebuilding lives.