Several innovations on show at NYSI launch
It's one of several innovations demonstrated at official launch of NYSI
When national football star Safuwan Baharudin was on loan at Australian club Melbourne City last year, he had a morning routine not many knew about.
The 24-year-old, a Singapore Sports School alumnus, had to log into a mobile phone app and key in details such as how long and how well he slept the night before.
By the time he got to City's training ground, the coaches already knew what they had to do to get the best out of him in training.
Now, budding young athletes, from both the Sports School and mainstream schools, can experience the same thing.
At the official launch of the National Youth Sports Institute (NYSI) at the Sports School's Woodlands campus last night, NYSI's head of sports science Dr Low Chee Yong demonstrated a mobile phone app created to help student athletes monitor their sleep and overall wellness.
The app, which is already available on android devices but will only be available for Apple products from around March, also contains tips on hydration, nutrition and recovery.
It was one of several innovations at the NYSI that were demonstrated to Minister for Social and Family Development and president of the Singapore National Olympic Council Tan Chuan-Jin, who graced the launch.
Headed by former national sailor Tan Wearn Haw, the NYSI officially began operations on Jan 1.
It was formed after a challenge by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who called on the SSP at its 10th anniversary celebrations last year to "become a national sports academy of excellence 10 years from now".
The NYSI hopes to serve as a resource centre for youth sport development, drive national talent identification and development programmes, and develop excellence in youth coaching.
Said Wearn Haw: "We sit between the Sports School and the Singapore Sports Institute (SSI), to a certain extent.
"The idea is to help student athletes narrow their performances, so that hopefully more of them get up to where the SSI can then help then get to the next level.
"That's why a lot of our initiatives, like the mobile-phone app, are youth-centric.
"The current system we have is good, but the question now is how do we bring this goodness to more people, create pathways and inspire?"
For now, the NYSI will support more than 500 Sports School student-athletes, and up to 400 carded youth national athletes in mainstream schools.
The 500 sq m location contains a Physio Clinic (for injury rehabilitation and prevention), a Think Tank (for sport psychology and performance analysis), a Pit Stop (for rest and recovery) and a Performance Lab (for physiology and biomechanics research and analysis).
At the moment, it is staffed by 19 administrators, coaches, athlete life mentors to doctorate-level scientists, and Wearn Haw hopes to increase that figure to 42 by June.
The NYSI will also partner the Ministry of Education to support and enhance this year's National School Games competitions and the Singapore team competing at the 2016 Asean School Games in Thailand.
Michel Sablon, the Football Association of Singapore technical director, hailed the launch of the institute.
The Belgian, who created the blueprint that developed his country's current golden generation of football world-beaters, said: "When you see the facilities available here, and the knowledge in the people here, the support available... It really is very good and should be used very often.
"We already work very closely with the Sports School because we have a few (National Football Academy) teams based here, and it is very important that young players develop good sporting habits.
"This (NYSI) will help (instil) that in young athletes."