SportsSG creates 500 jobs for those affected by Covid-19 measures
SportSG's measures are to aid those whose livelihoods are affected by the coronavirus pandemic
Sport Singapore (SportSG) yesterday rolled out measures to assist members of the sporting fraternity whose livelihoods have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The measures include more than 500 temporary jobs and over 5,000 training vacancies from now till the end of the year.
A number of gyms and yoga studios have closed their outlets since the Government introduced more stringent safe distancing measures last week.
In addition, the National School Games as well as all co-curricular activities in schools have been suspended - severely affecting sports coaches.
Speaking at a virtual press conference yesterday, SportSG chief executive Lim Teck Yin said: "Sporting Singapore has undergone a dramatic series of changes since Covid-19 hit our shores... The world that we live in today is confronted with disruption...
"We want to see a more capable, a more robust sport delivery model in Singapore, and I think today is about sounding out to industry that we would like to work hand in glove with them for the future, even as we work... to mitigate some of the concerns for today...
"We've ramped up our engagement of people in the sector. And we understand the difficulties people are facing.
"We are here to help all those who can benefit from the Resilience Budget...
"We are creating immediate opportunities for work to resume, and most importantly, we are putting out there a vision for how we can transform the sporting Singapore landscape."
He added that there have been over 180 applications for the initial tranche of 200 jobs, with almost 40 successful applicants starting work yesterday.
The job listings will be rolled out progressively on Workforce Singapore's SGUnited and SportSG's job portals.
Elsie Chiang, who founded Aquarian Aquatic School in 2012, said her business has taken a five-figure hit during February and March.
On SportSG's measures, the 63-year-old told The New Paper: "I think it is a good gesture on their part.
"To extend a helping hand during this period is very important because for full-time sports coaches, this situation could go on for the long haul, maybe until the end of the year."
Meanwhile, swimming and lifesaving coach Isaac Lee, 38, told TNP that business has gone down by 80 per cent since February due to the coronavirus.
He said: "I applaud SportSG's initiative. It shows they really care about this industry because there are a lot of (sports) coaches who could be jobless...
"There are a lot of coaches in Singapore and I don't think there are enough vacancies for all of them.
"But we as coaches also need to have perspective. We have to stay calm and be objective and plan appropriately during this period of time and see whether there are skill sets that we can upgrade."
Yakob Hashim, who works as a football coach at ANZA (Australian & New Zealand Association) Singapore, is interested in improving himself through SportSG's courses - which cover a range of topics from digital marketing to sports science.
He is keen to use his SkillsFuture credit to take up the Introduction to inclusive gym training course.
Said Yakob: "I would be interested in the inclusive gym training (course). I'm expecting that I would learn methods that would allow me to conduct gym training for differently abled people.
"I also want to be able to improvise and learn techniques for home gym sessions."
Meanwhile, SportSG also revealed that despite the coronavirus concerns, Singaporeans have been more active in the first two months of this year than they were in the first quarter of last year.
It said that 72 per cent of the 500 respondents in the National Sports Participation Survey said they did some form of exercise weekly in January and February, as compared with 58 per cent in the first quarter of last year.
To leverage this and compensate for the disruption to sporting activity caused by the virus, SportSG is planning to create an online "super sports club" platform which would allow Singaporeans to have virtual races or view exercise videos.
Said Lim: "This current situation presents an opportunity to strengthen and transform sporting Singapore and to inspire the Singapore spirit."