- “Dare to Dream” programme, set up by Certis in partnership with Singapore Disability Sports Council, enters second year
- Introduction of “Goalball29” to find and groom young talent to form a new national goalball team for ASEAN Para Games 2029, which will be hosted in Singapore
- Former national goalball women’s team player and ASEAN Para Games medallist Joan Hung to lead Goalball29 programme as coach
Certis has renewed its partnership with the Singapore Disability Sports Council (SDSC) to continue promoting active lifestyle among people with disabilities, and also to support them to realise their sporting ambitions.
The renewed programme, called “Dare to Dream 2.0”, will comprise two key components - Goalball29, aimed at developing the next generation of national goalball players in preparation for the ASEAN Para Games 2029, as well as the Certis Superheroes Challenge. To enable these two initiatives within the partnership, Certis will be donating S$30,000 towards the cause.
Goalball29 is the key new programme under this year’s programme, riding on the momentum of the goalball team’s impressive silver medal win at the 2022 ASEAN Para Games. The programme gets its name from the aspiration to raise a new national goalball team when Singapore hosts the ASEAN Para Games in 2029, and will entail a series of learn-to-play goalball programmes held island-wide, to reach out to youths with visual impairment and promote sports inclusivity in Singapore.
The launch of the new partnership was held at Lighthouse School, which caters to students with visual impairments and hearing loss. The launch event included a special “learn to play goalball” segment, where beneficiaries from Lighthouse School learnt to play goalball alongside volunteers from Certis. They were guided by coaches from SDSC, one of whom was former national goalball women’s team player and ASEAN Para Games medallist Joan Hung, who will be leading Goalball29 as a coach.
This will be Joan’s first official stint as an accredited coach, having completed her coaching studies and earned her accreditation in March 2023 with the assistance of SDSC’s “Focus on Abilities” programme, which aimed to train and develop athletes with disabilities for contributor roles like coaching.
“I am thrilled to be a part of Goalball29 as a coach and to have the opportunity to give back to the sport that has given me so much. As a former national player, I know first-hand how challenging and rewarding goalball can be, and I am excited to share my knowledge and experience with the next generation of athletes. With the support of Certis and SDSC, I believe that we can develop a strong and competitive national team to represent Singapore at the ASEAN Para Games 2029,” shared Joan Hung.
SDSC hopes to be able to reach at least 120 youths with visual impairments through the new programme. Ms Amisarni Mohd Amin, principal of Lighthouse School, shared her thoughts on the programme: “Sports and physical activities are essential for the holistic development of our students with visual impairments. It not only helps them maintain good physical health, but also improves their cognitive abilities and social skills. The ‘Goalball29’ initiative is a fantastic opportunity for our students to develop their talents and self-confidence. We are grateful to Certis and SDSC for their support in creating opportunities for our students to shine.”
In addition to Goalball29, the donation from Certis will continue to support the development of the “Certis Superheroes Challenge”, which comprises a combination of physical and mental profiling tools to match persons with disabilities to suitable sports and help them get active and healthy. This year, Certis will be bringing the activations to selected special education schools in Singapore. Since its inception, the programme has tested over 200 participants with disabilities and two potential talents have been identified for further development.
This year, Certis aims to recruit at least 80 volunteers across the organisation for “Dare to Dream 2.0”, serving either as play buddies for Goalball29, pairing up with the youths to learn and challenge each other in the sport of goalball, or to be facilitators for “Certis Superheroes Challenge” for the testing of participants with disabilities, so the next generation of young talents can be identified.
Mr Robin Goh, Senior Vice President and Head of Group Communications and Marketing, Certis, said, “Certis is honoured to extend this meaningful partnership with SDSC, especially around the development of a new programme that cultivates new sporting talents among people with disabilities. True to our purpose to make our world safer, smarter and better, we will work to create more inclusivity and opportunities for our people to continue doing their part to help those in need, and we look forward to enabling a new generation of para-athletes across all sports so they can one day showcase their talents on a world stage.”
Dr Teo-Koh Sock Miang, SDSC President, said: “We are grateful to Certis for their generous donation and continued support of our mission to empower persons with disabilities through sport. The ‘Goalball29’ initiative will make a significant contribution to promoting inclusivity in our society. Similarly, the 'Certis Superheroes Challenge' provides opportunities for persons with disabilities to engage in sports and lead a healthier lifestyle. We are encouraged by Certis' commitment, and we hope that more corporations will follow their lead in empowering persons with disabilities.”