Ms Yip Pin Xiu: To ask the Minister for Culture, Community and Youth (a) whether there has been a review of progress on the recommendations and investments put forth in the Disability Sports Master Plan (DSMP); (b) if so, whether the review has shown any gaps where the implementation of the DSMP need to be relooked at to deliver the DSMP recommendations; and (c) whether the Ministry will consider forming a dedicated committee beyond ActiveSG to coordinate the delivery of the DSMP recommendations and develop future blueprints to cover aspects beyond mass participation.
Ms Sim Ann, Senior Minister of State for Culture, Community and Youth:
- Sport Singapore’s (SportSG’s) Disability Sport Master Plan (DSMP) was launched in May 2016 to improve access and opportunities for persons with disabilities to discover the value of sport and lead an active lifestyle, develop Singapore’s capabilities in para sports, as well as raise the profile of Team Singapore para athletes with Singaporeans. I chair the Disability Sports Implementation Committee to guide the implementation of the DSMP.
- Since 2016, SportSG has been working with stakeholders to implement DSMP. SportSG has set up four Centres of Expertise (in Bedok, Jurong West, Sengkang and Toa Payoh), opened seven inclusive gyms, and introduced a range of disability sport programmes. The Inclusive Sports Festival or ISF has been organised for three successive years. It is a key platform for persons with disabilities to try out sports, and an opportunity for the public to learn about disability sport. Altogether, the ISF and other awareness and outreach events have engaged more than 11,000 participants with disabilities and close to 90,000 others in the last three years. The 2019 edition of the Singapore National Games or Pesta Sukan featured nine para and inclusive sports. In sports such as archery and canoe sprint, participants competed in inclusive teams comprising persons with and without disabilities.
- We are encouraged by the growth in sports participation amongst persons with disabilities from 28% in 2015 to 51% in 2018, based on SportSG’s annual National Sports Participation Survey.
- Beyond mass participation, SportSG works with key stakeholders, such as the Singapore Disability Sports Council or SDSC, National Disability Sports Associations, Special Olympics Singapore, and the Ministry of Education to enable talent development in disability sports and strengthen capabilities in the ecosystem. SportSG provides SDSC with financial resources and facilities to support the training of athletes in various para sports. Amongst our current crop of 72 spexScholars, 10 are para athletes. Team Singapore para athletes received campaign funding in their preparations for the upcoming ASEAN Para Games in January next year. SportSG has also partnered the International Paralympic Committee to grow the pool of disability sports coaches in Singapore. To date, close to 500 coaches, 300 SportSG staff and 1,600 volunteers have completed relevant courses to support disability sport programmes.
- While we have made good progress, we are continually exploring how to augment the impact. In August this year, SportSG reviewed its progress in DSMP and published this as part of its Vision 2030 mid-term report. SportSG stated in its report that it will broaden its range of partnerships to include corporations and organisations to form “Communities of Care” that can serve the community in impactful ways, such as by supporting the DSMP and promoting social inclusion through sport.
- We welcome ideas and suggestions from the Member and others in the sport and special needs communities to improve the implementation of the DSMP.