Local Service reflection: Special Olympics Singapore Badminton Outreach
By Special Olympics Singapore Badminton Outreach Service Team, Grade 11, East Campus
Special Olympics Singapore Badminton Outreach is a nonprofit organisation which works with special needs individuals to give them the opportunity of experiencing athletic competition in a friendly, safe environment.
Every Thursday evening, our group gathers together in a sport halls on campus to organise warm-up activities and play enjoyable games of badminton with Special Olympics (SO) athletes, intending to strengthen their balance, coordination, and motor skills. Despite having special needs, the athletes are always eager to acquire new skills and accept different challenges.
At the beginning of the service, we thought that the best way to help the children improve their badminton skills was to maintain a professional relationship. However, after working regularly with the athletes every week, we became more comfortable with one another. We learned each other’s names, each other’s faces, establishing a close friendship over time. While participating and improving at the sport itself is unquestionably an important part of our sessions, the greater purpose of this service is to facilitate personal growth of the athletes and encourage them to make new connections with others, something Karen Yeo, Honorary Secretary of the SO Singapore Family Support Network, said they have limited opportunity to do outside of these sessions.
“I really enjoyed this service, being able to play badminton with my partner Dick every week was always an enjoyable time. Not only was I able to teach him a few of my personal tips and tricks on becoming a better badminton player, I was also able to learn a few of his. This is something that I value highly; I was always looked forward to this weekly activity.” Myles Wang, Grade 11
“I think the service is quite enjoyable, because Eliza often laughs over my dry jokes by adding a bit more ...“ Dalavanh Phongsavath, Grade 11