By: Katie Roberts
Whether you’ve recently moved to Singapore or been here for years, here are a few new ideas for sporting and community activities to keep the children happy and busy!
Hash House Horrors
Think mud, water, jungle and the occasional insect bite – this is the closest you’ll get to mother nature – in a one-hour organised run/walk through Singapore’s random green spaces. As with the adult version, a little orienteering skills will help so you don’t get separated from the pack. Finish the trail with a juice for the kids, cold beer for the adults and an on-site hot meal. This is not suitable for prams, so if children are small they must be carried. Suitable for children up to 12 years. https://horrors.hash.org.sg
Aikido, wushu and taekwondo
Channel kids’ bursting energy into a positive outlet and suggest doing a martial art. Every little boy loves to kick, punch and fall down, and plenty of girls enjoy it too. Some of the popular and accessible martial arts are wushu, taekwondo and aikido.
Wushu is a self-defence sport based on classical Chinese philosophy with skills taught in both armed and unarmed fighting. Find out more: Singapore Wushu Dragon and Lion Dance Federation. (www.wuzong.com). Kuen Wushu Academy (www.kuenwushu.com).
Taekwondo originated in Korea and is a popular sport focusing on kicking, punching and unarmed combat with an emphasis on mental discipline. Find out more: Singapore Taekwondo Federation (www.stf.sg). JH Kim Taekwondo Institute (www.tkd-singapore.com).
A Japanese martial art, aikido combines practical self-defence movements with an emphasis on self-discipline and is a little more passive than other martial arts. Find out more: Aikido Shinju-kai has a comprehensive list of venues (www.aikidoshinjukai.com).
|The People’s Association runs Community Centres located in every suburb across the island. On offer are hundreds of inexpensive lifestyle courses (ranging from cooking and yoga to guitar and language lessons), sports and community facilities. Martial arts for children are on offer too. Once you join you’ll get a PAssion card! https://one.pa.gov.sg|
Recently hosting the Netball Word Cup proved that netball is a major sport here and growing. It’s on offer at many schools but if you’re looking for somewhere else, check out ANZA (Australian and New Zealand Association). They run weekly sessions combining practice and games for girls from six to 14 on Saturday mornings at Tanglin Trust School from August to May. (www.anza.org.sg; email@example.com).
Find out more: Netball Singapore (6346 5063; www.netball.org.sg) runs holiday training programs and competitions at the Netball Centre, Kallang.
Dragons Rugby Club is the new kid on the block, catering to boys aged four to 16 and girls under ten and under 12. Training is on Saturdays at UWCSEA Tampines so it’s convenient for those living on the East Coast. (9699 9074; www.dragonsrugbyclub.com)
Centaurs Rugby operates from Turf City with professional rugby coaching for boys and girls aged three to 18. Mixed mini-rugby is played through to 12 years, after which the boys move onto Colts up to age 18. Coaching for girls, aged seven to 18 is in touch only. (www.centaursgroup.com/rugby/rugby)
Tanglin Rugby caters for girls and boys from five and up with training at Turf City on Sundays from 9.30am to 11am. (www.tanglinrugbyclub.com)
Surrounded by a very accessible body of calm-ish water, Singapore is an ideal place to learn to sail. Recommended for children aged seven and over, find out plenty of useful sailing information at www.sailsmart.sg, run by the Singapore Sailing Federation.
Find out more: Mana Mana offers weekly and school holiday programmes in dinghy sailing, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding and windsurfing (63398878; www.manamana.com). SAF Yacht Club at Sembawang offers a four-day Get Kids Afloat beginners’ course in the school holidays. (6389 3750; www.safyc.org.sg)
Scouts and Guides
The century-old wisdom of Baden-Powell has not been lost in a world of iPads and Xboxes. The charm of bell tents, badges and self-sufficiency is alive and well with Girl Guides and Scouts in Singapore.
Find out more: Most Scout and Brownie/Guide units in Singapore are based in local schools, but if joining a school-based group is not possible contact the Singapore Scout Association (6259 2858; www.scout.sg).
ANZA is the only Australian Scout Group outside Australia. The focus is on the outdoors: think camps, survival skills, bushcraft and adventure activities. Open to boys and girls age 10 to 15 years, the group meets every Saturday at UWCSEA Dover. (www.anza.org.sg; firstname.lastname@example.org)
Of course children must be able to swim before they can sail and it’s also essential in this country where pool fences are few and far between. Many swimming teachers visit condos and provide individual and group lessons on request. Keep an eye out for instructors at your pool, or alternately the 12 local community pools have plenty of lesson options.
Find out more: Both Happy Fish Swim School (www.swimminglessons.com.sg) and Kids Swimming Lessons (www.kidsswimminglessons.sg) operate from the community pools with lessons for toddlers and beyond. Marsden Swim School offers programs for all ages at Turf City, Queenstown Swimming Complex and the Australian International School (6473 8353; www.marsdenswimschool.com).
Check out more kids activities in our 2012 Kids Guide. It’s free online here