It’s said that variety is the spice of life, and Singapore has bountiful opportunities to try out new sports, culture and language. Expat Living readers tell us what their children have experienced at seven different activities across the island.
Sports Camps Australia
Harrison Wilton, Sydney (11)
Have been living in Singapore for 6 months
‘Sports Camps Australia has given me the chance to get better at the sports that I really like to participate in: mountain biking, soccer and multisports. I always have fun at the camps with my friends and the coaches are really nice too. If you want to have fun and improve your skills, but might be a little shy or not sure if camp is the right thing for you, these coaches will make you feel comfortable and included in every activity.’
Nicole Joye, Swiss Liam (11), Fynn (9), Evan (4) Nicole
Have been living in Singapore for 15 years
“We found out about Camp Asia four years ago when my two older boys joined Stamford American International School, and they’ve been attending its camps for the past year. We chose the camps this year for the variety of courses available, and my children attend every Saturday for an hour. Liam does soccer, Fynn does golf and drama, and Evan does soccer and tennis.
The boys like the enthusiastic teachers, the small groups and being able to make new friends. I would absolutely recommend Camp Asia for its weekly programmes and for its holiday camps, too. The staff are friendly, knowledgeable and fun. I also like how well organised everything is, the fact that the location is close to where we live, and the timing of the morning classes.”
Fukiko and Jonathon Mann, Japanese and British Moe (8), Sho (13), Max (14)
Have been living in Singapore for 19 years
“All our kids have been participating in JSSL football programmes for the past five years. They are very fortunate to be in the NeXt Gen and Elite programmes, which are intensive with one or two mid-week training sessions and one on Saturday, plus Sunday league games and frequent tournaments both in Singapore and abroad.
From a parent’s perspective, soccer gives kids much more than just foot skills and exercise. They learn teamwork, discipline and also respect for other players, their coaches and the sport. However, it’s very important for them to be placed in the appropriate training sessions and teams.
As the largest soccer school in Singapore, JSSL has the range of players and coaches to give players, no matter their age, fitness or skill level, a rewarding experience. Our daughter Moe really enjoys playing in the girls’ league and competing in local competitions with an eager team of young girls. Her team also competes in a JSSL boys’ league and has competed in a boys’ tournament abroad. Also, our boys, who are older, relish the intensity of training that comes with the Elite programme.
This is a big commitment and step-up in fitness levels and technique, and again JSSL has the dedicated and skilful coaches that make this possible. The reward is the chance to compete in (and frequently win!) leagues and competitions here and abroad – and, more importantly, the camaraderie and lasting friendships that come from competing as a team at this level. I would definitely recommend JSSL.”
Amy and Steve Schell, US Jack (11) and Will (8)
Have been living in Singapore for six months
“We started at Little Mandarins six months ago. My boys are learning Mandarin at school, which is why we chose to have them tutored; they share a private tutor once a week on Saturdays at the Dempsey Hill location. It has allowed them to go into more depth and strengthen the skills they’re learning at school. We liked that they offered the type of lessons we were looking for, and it it’s also conveniently located to our home.
I contacted Little Mandarins after I saw their flyer at the American Club, where they offer a class for younger children. I’m impressed by how much the boys have learnt in the short period of time that they have been taking lessons. I think what we all like most about Little Mandarins is the cheerful atmosphere, and the fact that it isn’t your typical classroom setting. It’s not just textbook learning; they incorporate games and many other fun activities into the curriculum. I would highly recommend Little Mandarins to others. My boys actually look forward to their lessons, which I think says a lot!”
Marsden Swim School
Nicola and Philip Gennaoui, Australian Lyla (2)
Have been living in Singapore for five years
“We have been taking Lyla to Marsden Swim School since she was six months old. We chose Marsden purely because all the teachers are AUSTSWIM-certified and they had testimonials. Lyla is in the Infants and Toddlers programme, which she attends once a week.
We found out about Marsden through a recommendation. We love the teachers and they have made learning to swim very fun for Lyla and a really enjoyable half-hour for me, too. I absolutely recommend Marsden Swim School. Lyla loves her swimming class and her teacher, and has become a little fish in the water. The teachers have made Lyla not only extremely comfortable in the water but very confident.”
Tanglin Arts Studio
Susan and Tony Morandi, Rhode Island (US) Kaelyn (10) and Kendyll (7)
Have been living in Singapore for five months
“Kendyll has been dancing at Tanglin since we moved here in August 2015. She was part of a wonderful dance studio in Rhode Island that was like family to her. So when we moved to Singapore we promised her that we would find a studio that felt like home. After looking online I reached out to Katja, who responded with a warm and welcoming email.
Kendyll attended the open house and immediately felt like she belonged. The teachers were fantastic about helping us find the right classes for her, based on her dance level, not just her age. Kendyll does jazz, ballet, tap and acrobatics, and is part of the junior performance team at the Horse City location. She is so happy at Tanglin, loves her teachers, has made new friends and is always excited to go to class.
I found the studio independently through internet searches and would absolutely recommend it; the teachers are attentive, fun, professional and genuinely care about the students. The owner, Katja, is always present and engaged with parents and students. What’s more, there are a large variety of classes, with many offered on different days and at various times. Kendyll has grown so much in the time she has been with Tanglin Arts School.”
Triple T Soccer Academy
Vibecke and Harald Paulsen Lovik, Norwegian Oscar (9)
Have been living in Singapore for eight years
“Oscar started playing with Coach Michael in August 2013, when he was a coach for the Stingers. When Michael left to start his own Academy, most of the players followed him, and Oscar joined the Titans. Coach Michael is not only a highly skilled football coach, he is also a father figure for all his players; he teaches the kids values and respect, not only for the game but also for each other and for their opponents.
In our first season, the Titans were awarded the League’s Fair Play Trophy. Titans train every Saturday from 9am to 10.30am, and Michael and his team of coaches are on hand if the kids want to continue past the fixed timeslot. Titans participate in the J league (held every other Sunday afternoon at Turf Club) and in friendly matches, and they have also participated in a couple of local tournaments.
We found Triple T Soccer Academy through friends of Oscar. We would highly recommend it to players of all levels – and for parents it’s a great venue to meet other parents. Coach Michael is a master of building on each player’s individual strengths; we see the players individually and as a team improve week by week.”
Ariane Janis, French Takis (11) and Amalia (9)
Have been living in Singapore for two years
“My children attend the French School Singapore where they have English lessons, but I wanted them to pick up English very quickly, especially their speaking and comprehension. VivaLing is an online language academy that they have been attending for 18 months, and it has helped us a lot. They each do one or two sessions online per week, usually for 40 minutes.
I had the pleasure to discover VivaLing through a French fair. After contacting them, they suggested coaches who are a good match for our children, and that’s why Takis and Amalia have so much fun during their lessons. They can talk about their subjects of interest and the coaches can focus the conversation on subjects the children like.
Our goals have been reached, because Takis and Amalia are now confident with speaking English – Amalia wasn’t talking a word of the language when we started. It’s also flexible, so it’s not a problem to organise their lessons; you can change the schedule.
I’d definitely recommend VivaLing. My children have drastically improved their speaking and understanding of the English language and they have fun during their lessons. Moreover, the system of programming the lessons is really convenient; I can easily change the appointments to fit my children’s busy schedule.”
Head to our Kids Section for more on things to do with kids in Singapore
This article first appeared in the February 2016 edition of Expat Living Subscribe