Teaching kids to be good sports
If your children are interested in sports, here are some activities to consider signing them up for
Parents are starting their children on sports earlier. The New Paper looks for sports for children aged five and below such as rugby, horse-riding, fencing and cricket.
Why should parents start children on sports early?
DRAGONS RUGBY CLUB
Fancy toughening up your child in a fun and safe environment? How about rugby?
Not-for-profit Dragons Rugby Club is one option to go to.
Their rugby programme for children under five is filled with different basic game drillseach week.
They go through an hour of training with each activity lasting for 10 minutes.
Parents get to participate and look after their child during the training as well.
A parent and a volunteer coach for children under five, Mr Dean Vaughan, said the training is safe because there is no contact between each other.
"It is touch rugby, where a tackle is your two hands touch the opposition team's ball carrier 'on the waist' at the same time and they must fall to the ground as if they were tackled," said the IT manager.
Mrs Cherie Lim Ball, 42, told TNP that after her five-year-old son, Cameron, attended the programme, his coordination, ability to work with others and diligence have improved.
Cameron said: "I enjoy rugby as it allows me to run fast."
Dragons Rugby Club practices at UWCSEA East Campus in Tampines on Saturdays from 4.30pm to 5.30pm. Practice will resume from Jan 14.
Z FENCING INTERNATIONAL ACADEMY
The idea to cater to younger children came about when long-time principal and co-founder of Z Fencing International Academy, Ms Teo Ah Heok, saw many children clamouring to have fun playing swashbucklers just like their older siblings.
Z Fencing's coach and manager, Ms Esther Wong, said the children in Z Prep, which is a class for four- to five-year-olds, do not need to buy any equipment. "We provide them with training weapons, plastic masks and protective gear so they do not injure themselves or their friends," said Ms Wong.
"One of the important requirements during training is for every child to learn how to observe safety rules such as not jumping and running with their friends during lessons."
Z Fencing reduced the usual student-to-coach ratio from six to eight to four students, so coaches can spend more time with the children. Lessons cost $706.20 per term.
SHAWS LITTLE LEAGUE
Shaws Little League's cricket programme combines the temperament of Sachin Tendulkar, the power of Adam Gilchrist, the guile of Dennis Lillee and Shane Warne, and the agility of Jonty Rhodes - all renowned cricketers.
A multi-sport and physical activity programme running since 1988, Shaws Little League caters to young children and started offering cricket to children aged from five to 12 in 2011.
Its group and individual classes are based on teaching the fundamentals of cricket while allowing children to develop their own style.
It also aims to improve skill development in all areas of cricket - batting, bowling, fielding, and running between the wickets.
A spokesman said: "Cricket is a game that regardless of your body shape and type, you can still be successful.
"This is ideal for people in Singapore given our smaller physical stature compared to people in other countries.
"Singapore has a greater chance of success in cricket compared to other team sports."
For more info, visit its website at shawslittleleague.com
A combination of nature and fun - that's what Gallop Stable, a horse-riding provider, aims to bring children and animals together.
Gallop Stable's manager, who wanted to be known only as Mr Jackuda, said they decided to offer programmes for children because they are agile and can work on their balance and posture.
"At the same time, we help them love, interact safely, and understand animals," he said.
"Children will also need to have proper sleep and enough water intake as the outdoor training can be straining at times due to the outdoor heat."
Sharing that children may fall due to imbalance, speed of the ponies or bucking, he said they need to make sure safety riding gears are worn at all times.
Prices range from $200 to $400 for five lessons.