ActiveSG launches Basketball Academy
ActiveSG launches academy to help boys, girls and working adults fulfil their potential
They recently unveiled academies for popular sports like football and athletics, and ActiveSG is not about to leave another favourite sport among Singaporeans behind.
The national movement for sport yesterday launched the Basketball Academy, a joint-initiative by Sport Singapore, the Basketball Association of Singapore (BAS) and the Singapore Slingers.
The academy, led by former national and current Slingers coach Neo Beng Siang, aims to help boys and girls aged between five and 14 and working adults fulfil their potential in the sport.
Participants pay $130 for 30 sessions, conducted three times a week at five centres in Choa Chu Kang, Clementi, Bukit Merah, Hougang and Pasir Ris.
Children will learn various skills based on their age group, while working adults will play recreationally in different leagues and locations.
The programme commences in September.
Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth Parliamentary Secretary Baey Yam Keng said the academy will allow children to learn from professionals at "very affordable fees".
"We have a former national coach coming to head the academy, so I think he will create a lot of excitement among young people," he said at the launch event at the Padang.
"I hope they will carry on with them through their lives not only the basketball skills, but (also) the values that they will learn through the game, like resilience, discipline and teamwork."
Neo, who has more than 30 years of playing and coaching experience, is looking to assemble a coaching team of "ex-national players and ex-coaches" for the academy.
"We want to pass on the knowledge and experience to the young kids and, hopefully, one of them will be playing internationally in the future," he said.
"For us, it's very important to build from the fundamentals, and that's how we are going to take Singapore basketball to another level."
To that end, BAS honorary secretary Ong Swee Teck hopes to unearth the next generation of national players from the academy.
"We want to bring the game down to a bigger pool of the community in the heartlands and then from there, we get the younger players to be interested in the game," he said.
Ong revealed that the BAS will work with the academy on a consistent curriculum and playing system, while getting its coaches to support the initiative.
"If some of the players perform well, we'll definitely shortlist them for the age-group team, so from there, the training will be at a different level," he added.
National and Slingers players Ng Han Bin and Desmond Oh, who will be sharing tips with participants at the academy, know what it takes to be a professional.
Ng, 27, said: "Learning from the best coach in Singapore will give kids the right direction towards learning basketball, so that they can progress their game at a different level later in their lives.
"I love the younger generation and giving back to the community, and I hope to see them gain from the sport that changed myself."