Sport takes her out of home and gives her fulfilment
Miss Juni Syafiqa Jumat, 22, was born with cerebral palsy, making it hard for her to perform simple tasks.
At seven, she joined the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore (CPAS), where she learnt how to perform tasks such as holding a spoon.
After taking up boccia, a precision ball sport, when she was 16, Miss Syafiqa went on to represent Singapore in the 2014 Asian Para Games, and the 7th and 8th Asean Para Games.
"If not for sports, I'll be staying at home the whole day," Miss Syafiqa told The New Paper. "CPAS is like a second home to me. If I could, I'll join all sports."
Cerebral palsy is a disorder in which damage to the brain causes impairment of motor function. It is not curable but is non-progressive.
CPAS, the Down Syndrome Association Singapore and The Red Pencil were the beneficiaries of retailer Courts' fund-raising efforts last year, which included a charity golf tournament and an annual charity party. Courts raised $518,000, the largest amount since it started fund-raising 16 years ago.
Miss Syafiqa said she learnt how to read, write and perform daily tasks only after she joined CPAS.
"Before that, I was really frustrated with myself and questioned why I was different from other people," she said.
Boccia gave her "a purpose... in life". Miss Syafiqa is now part of a new alumni programme called CPAS Connect, which aims to support CPAS's alumni through community integration and talent development.
Its executive director, Miss Jessie Holmberg, said: "As this programme is newly launched, we are grateful for every form of support so that we can continue providing care and constructive services for them."
The cheque presentation ceremony was held yesterday at the residence of Mr Terry O'Connor, CEO of Courts Asia.
Mr O'Connor said: "Charity work and a sense of giving have over the years woven themselves firmly into the company culture at Courts, with staff from all parts of the organisation rallying together and pitching in for a good cause."