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Water great way to foster inclusivity

Let's Play! series, a multi-agency collaboration to encourage participation from people of all abilities, launched on Saturday

People with disabilities tried out various sporting activities, which even included sailing, thanks to the Let's Play! series, a multi-agency collaboration aimed at people of all abilities, which was launched on Saturday.

Aiming to foster greater social inclusivity within the community, this partnership between the People’s Association Water-Venture (PAWV), the National Council of Social Service (NCSS) and Singapore Disability Sports Council (SDSC) was initiated through Let’s Play! at PAssion WaVe @ Marina Bay, where over 500 participants took part in a slew of events, ranging from land-based activities such as boccia, wheelchair basketball and sitting volleyball to water-based try-outs like Hansa sailing and dragon-boating.

The Hansa orientation programme was created in partnership between Water-Venture and Singapore Sailing Federation as a means of allowing the special needs community to try sailing as a lifestyle sport.

By encouraging inclusivity, the organisers are hoping to improve the quality of life for the disabled.

Chan Whee Peng, NCSS director of service planning and standards, said: “Through participation in inclusive play and leisure activities, persons with disabilities are able to widen their social circles, improve their emotional and physical well-being.

"We hope more partners can step up to provide meaningful opportunities for people of all abilities to interact and foster greater understanding and sensitivity to differences.”

The participants were not the only ones who enjoyed the day's activities. 

Desiree Lim, who helped to facilitate the Hansa programme and introduce people to it, said: "Today’s event is a great opportunity for people of different abilities to try out sailing, and the Hansa 303.

"This is the boat that was designed for disabled sailors, but it’s also very good for the elderly, and it’s very safe and good for leisurely sailing. It’s wonderful that Passion Wave has these sports activities and boats available, and to organise such events with them."

There will be five more such carnivals for people of all abilities – young families, the youth, working professionals and the disabled – from March to September (see below). They comprise inclusive waterfront lifestyle programmes at various Water-Venture outlets.

Let's Play! carnivals in 2019

1. March 16:  Let's Play! At Water-Venture (East Coast)

2. May 4: World Play Day At Water-Venture (Pasir Ris)

3. May 25: Let's Play! At Water-Venture (Bedok Reservoir)

4. July 7: Let's Play! At Water-Venture (Sembawang)

5. Sept 14: Let's Play! At PAssion WaVe @ Jurong Lake Gardens

Let's Play!Singapore Disability Sports CouncilDisability sportsPeople's Association