Out from the waters and into cyber space. Due to the pandemic, the TeamNUS Summit for incoming sports leaders did not take place for the first time since 2008. However, this has allowed us to organise our first ever online Sports Leaders Induction! Photo: 2019 TeamNUS Summit.
30 July 2020
In 2008, Head of Sports Lawrenz Sim mooted the idea of a camp to bring all sports leaders together to foster relationships and build a unified NUS identity. It was a 4D3N camp that was held in Gopeng, Malaysia for 70 students, and that was the beginning of the annual TeamNUS Summit.
Since then, Summit has taken place at various campsites in Malaysia and Indonesia, featuring activities such as white water rafting, caving and adventure race. The groups work together to overcome challenges in the day and bond over sharing sessions in the night. The ideals of The Leadership Challenge®
(Barry Posner and James Kouzes) were put forth based on its set of tools and applicable practices for our students.
Unfortunately, we weren’t able to hold it this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our backs were against the wall, but as one door closes, another one opened.
There is light at the end of the tunnel – camaraderie built up through Summit 2019 activity such as caving.
Vision of NUS Sports
165 sports leaders attended the 2-hour Sports Leaders Induction held on Zoom on 22 July. Lawrenz presented the three pillars – Fortify Sports Excellence, Multiply Community Sports and Central Student Leadership – that form the vision of NUS Sports.
These pillars will not only strengthen our standing as the top tertiary institution in sports, but will involve more students to participate in recreational sports as well as build capabilities of our sports leaders. It is time we recognise that sports is more than just the pursuit of sporting excellence. It is a tool to promote unity, inclusivity, diversity, mental wellness, and so much more.
We discussed the role of sports groups in the NUS community with our leaders, and it is one that has expanded significantly in the last three years. Besides competitive sports, our groups have been organising or volunteering in community sports events in NUS to encourage their peers to be more active. To gain more momentum, sports groups are now entrusted to build a recreational arm for students to play sports on a more regular basis. We are hopeful yet confident that more NUS students will get the chance to participate in sports.
Jeane Kwa, captain of NUS Golf, said: “The NUS sports vision is necessary as it will hone athletes to be all rounded, so that they excel not only in technical skills, but also in their physical and psychological stamina. This is important so that they are able to last a competition round and perform better than other competitors.”.
She added: “I think it is also important to increase the pool of athletes in various CCAs, to not only have competitive members, but also have recreational members so that awareness of the sport can be spread and individuals who share the same love for the sport can join and play together regardless of their competitive abilities because sports serve as a great avenue to unite individuals from all walks of life.”
Captain of NUS MMA Darren Chan supports the notion, he said: “The need to interact and engage the masses through events and activities is important and I believe that the ultimate goal is to promote sports to the general student population and encourage active and healthy lifestyle.”
New Normal for Sports
There is also an impetus to embrace a new normal for sports during this unsettling time. With limited face-to-face trainings and no competitions until Phase 3, some students may feel helpless and aimless. But with every challenge comes an opportunity for leaders to step up and do things differently. Our hands may be tied, but it does not mean that we can only march on the spot; we can run!
This is an opportune time for our sports groups to recalibrate themselves to become more inclusive and recruit recreational members; to think of new and innovative ways to bring positive impact to the NUS community and beyond; and to attend relevant online courses such as sports management and refereeing.
In this period of uncertainty, we called upon our newly-minted sports leaders to uplift their sports groups from their current Point A to an enhanced Point B by focussing on the three pillars of the NUS Sports vision.
It is no mean feat, but in the wise words of Robert Schuller – "Tough times don't last, tough people do."
Let us strive together to achieve the NUS sports vision!
“I think the online induction was very insightful. It provided us with adequate knowledge about the sports vision, necessary information for using the NUSync portal, as well as provided us with a platform to discuss the changes to expect due to COVID-19 and new CCA arrangements for the upcoming annual year. The efforts to make it more interesting such as having mini breakout discussions in between slides presentation and having a Kahoot (game) at the end were really good as well, as these helped to keep the students engaged.”
- Jeane Kwa, captain of NUS Golf