Volunteer Attachment: Team Nila (Sport Singapore)

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Date of Attachment: 16 June 2019 – 3 August 2019
Address: 3 Stadium Drive, Singapore Sports Hub, Singapore 397630 
Website: www.teamnila.sg

Hours: 92 hrs

Spearheaded by Sport Singapore, Team Nila is a national volunteerism movement that promotes the culture of giving, citizenship partnership and social cohesion through sport. Besides specially curated volunteering opportunities, various training opportunities are also offered to Team Nila so that they can be equipped with relevant skills to contribute towards building a resilent and caring society.

Extract from Team Nila

8-Weeks Attachment

Role: Volunteer Leader

Nursing Home Coordinator (GetActive! Sport Festival)

  • Served as the main liaison in charge for the site visit with the volunteers and nursing home partners
  • Managed the communications with the transport providers and the nursing home staff
  • Planned a site tour and programme flow for the nursing home residents which includes on-site activities such as Gardens Tour, Sports Tryouts, Bicentennial Games etc.
  • Guided the befrienders team to interact and care for the nursing home residents upon their arrival
  • Assisted in various befriending activities prior to the sport festival e.g. nursing home visits, Davis Cup Experience Tour, GA!SG Workout Flash Mobs, lantern painting with nursing home residents for display at the festival
  • Ensured the welfare and safety smooth, safe and meaningful experience for the residents

Marketing Communication Team

  • Worked closely with the team on marketing plans e.g. content creation, branding, outreach
  • Designed marketing collateral (posters, event panels, social media posts etc.) for the GA!SG Sport Festival
  • Assisted in the video production of the GA!SG Workout Flash Mobs

The Objective

GA!SG is an annual event organised by Sport Singapore, in conjunction with the National Day celebrations. The 10-day island-wide sporting bash (1 August – 10 August) included competitions, enabler programmes and sport festivals. This was the 1st time that Team Nila wanted to work together with nursing home partners to bring their resident to their big-scale inclusive sport festival at Jurong Lake Gardens, which was what interested me to join the team. The aim of the event is to rally Singaporeans from all walks of life to celebrate National Day as One People through Sport.  I felt that being part of this project could give me a better grasp on the eldercare sector in Singapore, learn the ways to care for them better, and also pick up event management skills and programme planning skills along the way. 

Befriending Engagements

Before bringing the nursing home residents to our sport festival, our team planned to do a series of befriending engagements with the various nursing home partners so that their residents would be familiar with us on the actual day. 

Sport Engagement at Ren Ci (Bukit Batok) (16 June 2019)

The 1st befriending engagement I joined was the sport engagement at Ren Ci Hospital. We started the day with Seated Tai Chi. This is a good alternative exercise for seniors whom are frail or has limited mobility. As the movements are slow and gentle, the seniors could follow the actions easily. Some benefits of Seated Tai Chi are strengthened muscles, improved co-ordination, and lowered stress levels. Other actitives we played were Boccia, an adaptive sports played usually played by participants with physical disabilities, Pass the Ball, and we ended the day with a short singing session. 

Seated Tai Chi
Pass the Ball

Davis Cup Experience Tour (28 June 2019)

This was an excursion where we brought nursing home residents to Singapore Sports Hub to enjoy the Davis Cup event put together by Active Health and Sport Singapore. Upon the arrival of the seniors, we brought them into the sport hall to watch the tennis match. We then brought them to the sport tryout booths to play of the activities. However, I felt that perhaps a small gift could be given to them as an incentive and reward for completing a game. That could be a greater motivation for the participants to perform the tasks. 

Tennis Match
Transporting the seniors
Throwing a tennis ball through the racket frame
Throwing the ball into the buckets
Waving the tennis racket at the lighted up screens

Lantern Painting (19 July 2019 – 27 July 2019)

Our team wanted the sport festival to be collaborative effort of the nursing home residents as well. We did a number of lantern painting sessions at some of the nursing homes. Our volunteers guided and assisted the residents through the process. The completed lanterns were to be showcased at our sport festival. We thought that this could be quite meaningful especially when the residents saw their own work being displayed during their visit. 

Volunteers at THK (Sembawang)
Volunteers at Ren Ci (Bukit Batok)
Volunteers at THK (Chai Chee)
Engrossed in painting
One stroke at a time
The completed masterpieces!
THK (Chai Chee)
THK (Sembawang)

Flash Mobs

GA!SG NDP Workout around Singapore (6 July 2019 & 10 July 2019)

We did multiple flash mobs island-wide at nursing homes, Jurong Lake Gardens, Merlion Park, Marina Barrage, Tan Teck Seng Hospital (TTSH), Jewel Changi Airport, and others. The GA!SG NDP Workout is an annual inclusive dance where anyone and everyone are invited to join in and just have fun together! Our volunteers went down a few days earlier to nursing homes to teach the residents on the dance steps prior to the filming. 

Jewel Changi Airport

Flash Mob at Jurong East MRT (20 July 2019)

After our recruitment drive at JCube, we headed over to Jurong East MRT to promote our upcoming GA!SG week by performing the flash mob. 

Mass Rally for volunteer recruitment

Sport Festival Planning

Programme Planning

I was given the plan for our sport festival at Jurong Lake Gardens with the list of activities and the respective timings. My task was to curate a site tour for the nursing home partners and senior activity centre (SAC) partners during their visit to our sport festival at Jurong Lake Gardens. The 8 partners were separated into 3 waves to prevent an overcrowding at the event venue. 

Our nursing home partners:

  1. Ren Ci Hospital (Bukit Batok)
  2. Lee Ah Mooi Old Age Home
  3. Orange Valley Nursing Home
  4. Thye Hua Kwan (THK) Nursing Home (Chai Chee)
  5. THK Nursing Home (Eunos)
  6. THK Nursing Home (Sembawang)

Our SAC partners: 

  1. Wellness Kampung (Yishun Blk 260)
  2. Wellness Kampung (Yishun Blk 765)

Our team did site recce on 4 July 2019 and on 20 July 2019 to get a sense of the event space we were working with. We took the timing for the completing the route for the walks, and also took note of the landmarks and important amenities (handicapped toilets, ramps, water coolers etc.) 

Location recce at Jurong Lake Gardens
Trying out the Mederka Generation Walk route
Looking at the main tentage area

Marketing and Design

The marketing collateral for our Team Nila Sport Festival were designed in the same style as the “Celebrate Our Singapore”  posters and banners for the GetActive! Singapore 2019 campaign. Eye-catching colours were chosen to imply the vibrancy of the event. I came up with the name “SPORTacular” as it was a play on the word “sport” and “spectacular”, and in line with the last year’s name “FUNtastic” – which was a play on the words “fun” and “fantastic”. 

Event poster
Programme Highlights Poster
Event panel on location

SPORTacular Village (3 August 2019)

SPORTacular Village was planned as an inclusive and intergenerational event where people of all ages and background were invited to come and take part in the National Day celebrations. We arrived at Jurong Lake Gardens at 11 am for a volunteer briefing, site familiarisation for those who missed out on the previous site recce, and also the setting up of the booths and stations. I had invited my friends to join this event and be part of my befriender leaders. They helped me guide the other volunteers to care for the partner residents when they were at our venue. 

Map of event venue
Team Nila with M Grace Fu

Highlights of Event: 

Sports Tryouts, Bicentennial Games

As the theme of the event was centred upon bringing people together through sports, the sports tryouts made up a huge bulk of the event’s activities. Our team included some adaptive sports and also various bicentennial games where participants with limited mobility could take part as well. 

Giant Snakes and Ladders
Ring Toss
Stick Football

Gardens Tour, PAP Community Foundation (PCF) Walk, Merdeka Generation Walk

National Parks Board (NParks) organised the Gardens Tour for our event. The Gardens Tour is a short 15 mins walk around the park with commentary from the NParks staff and some of our trained Team Nila volunteers. The PCF Walk, flagged of by M Grace Fu, and the Merdeka Generation Walk, flagged off by SM Tharman Shanmugaratnam, were intergenerational walks where all event participants  were invited to walk together in unity. Although I understood the meaning behind the activity, in retrospect, perhaps the walks were not very suitable for the seniors as the weather was rather hot and some of them were having issues with walking. 

Gardens Tour
PCF Walk
Merdeka Generation Walk

Observance Ceremony, Lanterns Light Up

M Grace Fu and SM Tharman Shanmugaratnam were invited to be the Guest-of-Honours for our event. There were 2 observance ceremonies conducted where participants sang the National Anthem and recited the pledge. Event participants were also invited to join in the GA!SG NDP Workout. Perhaps, the most memorable highlight of the event was the Lanterns Light Up ceremony officiated by SM Tharman Shanmugaratnam. The 300 lanterns on display were specially painted by nursing home residents from THK, Ren Ci, Sportcares, Team Nila volunteers, and members of the public. These lanterns were subsequently donated to NParks and PAssion WAve for the upcoming mid autumn festival event at Jurong Lake Gardens.

Minister Grace Fu interacting with the seniors
Observance ceremony
GA!SG NDP Workout
SM Tharman Shanmugaratnam officiated the ceremony
Group photo with SM Tharman Shanmugaratnam
Nursing home residents witnessing the light up of their lanterns
Photo with the befrienders team
Click to view event recap video