“I’ve just tried bowling for the first time, and I love it! I look forward to this Sports Day every year. I’m still pretty active, so I like to take part in the sports games. Today, I’m with my friends from the Senior Activity Centre, and we’ll be playing some of the group games together”, said 79-year old Kassim Bin Jumali, a member of the AWWA Senior Activity Centre.
Kassim was one of more than 400 seniors at the 8th AWWA Silver Sports Day held on 21 September. The participants came from AWWA Health & Senior Care and five external Volunteer Welfare Organisations - Ling Kwang Home for Senior Citizens, Lions Befrienders SAC, COMNET Senior Services, Thye Hua Kwan SAC and SASCO Senior Citizens’ Home. This is Ling Kwang Home’s first time participating in the event. Mr Ang Hin Kee, Member of Parliament for Ang Mo Kio GRC and Adviser to Cheng San-Seletar GROs, was the Guest of Honour.
The AWWA Silver Sports Day began in 2010 to promote social participation and physical activity among seniors. Initially held every year, the event is now a biennial activity since 2016. Apart from sports, some of the seniors also took part in performances to entertain their peers.
ITE College Central has been a co-organiser and host for the event since 2014. AWWA believes that the youth can have a positive impact on the event.
“With technology and the youth’s energy, students can work together with seniors to keep things fresh and interesting. As we progress each year, we wish to make the activities much more fun, and to create activities that go beyond age,” said Keith Lee, Director of AWWA Health and Social Care.
More than 100 students helped with the event planning, setting up of activity stations and also acted as volunteers during the event. Some even took part in the performances before the sports event commenced.
In one performance, students teamed up with AWWA Rehab and Day Care centre seniors to perform a musical number using “Melody Sticks”.
The “Melody Stick and Module” is an ongoing collaborative project between ITE College Central and AWWA Rehab and Day Care Centre (RDCC) under ITE College Central’s Industrial Project Collaboration. Music provides a form of cognitive therapy and can stimulate the mind. As the sticks need to be tilted, seniors and persons with disabilities can use it to exercise their upper limbs. At the same time, performing together in a group setting gives participants the opportunity to interact and bond with one another.
This year’s event is themed “Sparkle Seniors”. The seniors bubbled with energy and enthusiasm as they participated in the games with nine sports stations and six fringe activity stations to choose from. The top three scorers of each game walked home with prizes.
There were team sports and individual sports. Volunteers from SportCares Singapore and AWWA therapists worked together to modify the games so that seniors on wheelchairs could also take part. SportCares, the philanthropic arm of Sport Singapore aims to empower at-risk youth, low-income families, seniors and persons with disabilities to improve their lives through sports.
“I accompanied my mother as she wanted to come and take part in the activities. She’s outgoing, loves seeing her friends and chit-chatting with them. Although she doesn’t take part in the sports, she loves the fringe activities. I will come back to participate in the next Silver Sports Day“ said Wendy, 71, AWWA Integrated Resource Network.