In our endeavour to help youth develop into contributing members of our society, we provide opportunities. The opportunity to be forgiven and to put things right if one runs afoul of authority or the law; the opportunity to make headway in education and employment, the opportunity to experience family stability and the opportunity for social capital or friendships that bridge them to experiences and networks that enhance their personal or professional development.
Over 3 weekends last month, 10 youth participated in the Future Ready Sailor Programme(FRS) of the Singapore Sailing Federation (SSF). They were introduced to sailing as a sport, a recreational activity and an applied learning course in physics, biology as well as data and technology. Apart from braving the waters and the wind, they were introduced to subjects such as buoyancy, sailing trigonometry, marine biodiversity, water quality testing, solar panel modelling and the skill of charting speed, distance and time.
After 3 weeks, the youth were discussing how they could put their newly acquired skill to good use. They were thinking that they could encourage others in the neighbourhood to take up the sport but for us, it was most gratifying seeing how they were confidently relating to their instructors and others from SSF. Just to digress a little. On Tuesday evening I had the privilege of listening to Minister Grace Fu at the NUS Social Policy Forum as she advocated for sport as a means of building a more cohesive society and this was an example how it happens.
Anyway, for one of the youths who completed the FRS Programme, her new friendships led her to an experience that she will remember for a long time. Last Saturday, she was helping to steer one of the 2 SM40 sailboats, in a “mini regatta” on Marina Bay. Evangeline was racing against another boat where Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was on. Our Prime Minister was hosted by the DBS Sailing by the Bay Programme https://go.dbs.com/sail which is free and open to anyone above 7 years old and below 70 years old. Each person may register for up to 4 participants (including him/herself) and each session is 40 minutes.
Evangeline is a 3rd year student at Ngee Ann Polytechnic studying Aerospace Engineering. When she first heard that she was going to meet the Prime Minister, she excitedly told her mom. Mom was shocked that her daughter was chosen for this special event and told Evangeline that it would make her very proud and happy to see a photo of her with the Prime Minister. An opportunity to pick up a new sport and make new friends has enhanced Evangeline’s self-confidence profoundly but she tells us that the best thing about the whole experience was the opportunity to make her mom proud and happy.
Enjoy your week
Children are the anchors of a mother’s life. – Sophocles