January 24, 2018
Review of Junior Division Competitions announced at National School Games Opening Ceremony 2018
1. The Minister for Education (Schools) Mr Ng Chee Meng announced that all 21 Junior Division sports competitions at the annual National School Games (NSG) are being reviewed, to provide primary school students with even more meaningful learning and competition experiences. The NSG Junior Division competition is the first formal inter-school competition for most student-athletes, and this latest move is part of MOE’s efforts to strengthen the holistic development of primary school students.
2. The review committees are led by the respective National Convenors for each of the 21 sports competitions organized by the Singapore Primary Schools Sports Council, and include members of the Games Organising Committees (principals and heads of department), teachers, MOE specialists and officers, plus representatives of some national sports associations.
3. The aim of the Junior Division review is to strengthen the long-term development of primary school student-athletes, by making Junior Division competitions more developmentally appropriate. Specifically, the committees are looking at ways to:
- Increase playing opportunities and playing time for young student-athletes to gain game experience;
- Reduce perceived stakes of the competitions, while balancing this with the need to instill competition rigour and sporting excellence; and
- Promote lifelong enjoyment of sports among the students.
4. The review committees have been conducting trials and focus group discussions with key stakeholders – such as students, teachers and representatives from the NSAs, National Youth Sports Institute and SportSG. Sufficient lead time will be given to schools, coaches and other stakeholders before any changes arising from the reviews are implemented.
About the National School Games
5. The NSG, which runs from January to August every year, is the largest and most extensive annual youth sports event in Singapore, with more than 400 sports championship titles contested. This year, about 58,000 student-athletes from more than 365 primary and secondary schools, junior colleges and centralised institute are expected to take part in 29 different sports .
6. The NSG provides opportunities to build character, resilience and discipline among our student-athletes, as they pursue sporting excellence. In addition to the NSG 2018 opening ceremony, schools will also conduct their own symbolic ceremonies throughout February to enable students to show support for each school’s representatives and appreciate the value of sports participation.