It’s well known that sport and physical activity are an essential part of a child’s education, and the benefits go beyond physical. There are loads of options on offer at international schools to suit all children; whether it’s badminton, rock climbing, or even synchronised swimming! Here, we find out about seven international school sports programmes in Singapore.
Nexus International School
Nexus offers a wide range of international school sports programmes for children, from taekwondo to badminton, and students participate in all ACSIS (Athletic Conference of Singapore International Schools) sports across all ages. The Nexus Swimming Program has achieved overwhelming success and provides each student with opportunities to become proficient swimmers in a fun way as part of the health and physical education curriculum.
Swimmers have competed in the National Championships for Singapore, Spain, Italy and Ireland. The swimming team ranked in the top division amongst international schools in Singapore, and several athletes will compete in the 2017 FINA World Swimming Cup.
A word from a swim coach:
“I remember my first practice at Nexus when there were a few swimmers; we huddled together and made a commitment to be the team we wanted to be. I’m so proud of each student and truly believe that anyone who joins our program will become a better athlete and develop a true passion for sports.”
– Ivan Bunakov, Aquatics Director
Marlborough College Malaysia
Aside from the physical benefits of sport and exercise, Marlborough places great importance on the additional benefits gained from participating in team sports. These include teaching pupils the importance of working hard to achieve results, learning to appreciate winning, and to be gracious in losing a game. The Marlborough sporting culture encourages the demonstration and development of four character traits: aspiration, perseverance, integrity and compassion.
An extensive range of school sports programmes are available with PE, games and co-curricular sport all part of the daily curriculum. Key sports for girls are touch rugby, netball and football, while the boys play rugby, football, basketball and cricket. All pupils participate in a 90-minute Games session twice a week as part of the Sports program; this ensures exposure to sport or exercise irrespective of ability or experience. Strength and conditioning sessions are open to all students every morning, and elite pupils are encouraged to attend these to develop the athleticism necessary to excel.
Pupils train to participate in various international competitions held in the region. While other schools often have only one or two playing fields or pitches, Marlborough boasts seven expansive pitches, and often hosts sporting competitions, such as the Straits Tournaments, which attracts sporting powerhouse teams from Singapore and Malaysia.
UWCSEA has a deliberate focus on ensuring all students undertake exercise as part of a balanced lifestyle that will contribute to their overall lifelong health and wellbeing. A broad range of physical activities are on offer through the academic Physical Education programs as well as a wide range of representative sports. Importantly, skills-based development programs, and fitness and wellness activities make up 50 percent of the sports programs. Every student can be involved in physical activity outside of their twice-weekly PE lessons.
UWCSEA’s two campuses offer excellent sports facilities, which means that every student has a chance to be involved in a sports and physical wellness activity suited to their interests. Many of these opportunities are offered at no additional charge to families. UWCSEA coaches are focused on bringing each student to the best of their potential, and programs are designed to support student athletes at all levels, from beginner to world-class. Swim teams from the school are recognised as some of the most competitive in Asia.
As a whole, UWCSEA fields around 320 representative sports teams each year, 240 of which compete in ACSIS across all age groups and disciplines. At the senior level, the Under 18 teams travel across the region to participate in SEASAC (South East Asia Schools Activity Conference), a regional sporting conference with 15 member schools in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Myanmar.
UWCSEA Dover, 1207 Dover Road
UWCSEA East, 1 Tampines Street 73
firstname.lastname@example.org | uwcsea.edu.sg
Singapore American School
All students at SAS, from kindergarten through to high school, participate in school sports programmes and activities in physical education classes, and there are additional opportunities after school. SAS offers 13 interscholastic sports including Track and Field, Baseball/Fast Pitch Softball, American Football, Rugby/Touch and swimming. “The Eagle Way” is the SAS commitment to sportsmanship and excellence and the development of skills that are transferable to every facet of life. Students can be excellent competitors while demonstrating integrity and sportsmanship.
High school athletes compete not only with local schools and community teams, but also with rival Interscholastic Association of Southeast Asian Schools (IASAS) teams. Each year students may have the opportunity to travel throughout the region to compete at the highest level. SAS students also benefit from cultural homestay experiences that build lifelong relationships. Over 200 high school students compete at the varsity (representative) level each year in 13 different elite level sports.
IASAS is a competitive league featuring Taipei American School, Jakarta Intercultural School, International School Kuala Lumpur, International School of Manila, International School of Bangkok.
Australian International School (AIS)
AIS offers over 20 different sporting options available for students of all ages, including football, cricket, Aussie Rules, rugby, gymnastics, taekwondo, swimming, tennis and volleyball. There’s also a diverse program of CCAs, which give children the opportunity to explore other sporting passions outside the traditional school sports, such as water polo, boxing and rock climbing. Participating in sport builds strong and confident young athletes who are challenged by experiences that build character, resilience and teach the value of teamwork.
AIS follows a “no-cut policy”, so every child will be offered a place on a team in the sport of their choice, regardless of their ability. AIS is the only international school in Singapore to offer the Athlete Development Program for aspiring athletes. Over 100 students from Years 7 to 12 are currently part of the program, which focuses on all-round development of the athlete, including fitness, nutrition, coaching and teamwork. Students taking part can improve their athleticism and physical preparation so they can perform at a high level in a range of sports.
AIS competes in external sporting competitions, including the popular ACSIS, the Australian International Schools Association (AISA), and SEASAC.
Stamford American International School
Stamford students are encouraged to try out new things, discover what they are good at and find the motivation to succeed. As well as the athletics programs offered within the curriculum, the CCA sports program for early years, elementary and secondary students includes sports such as swimming, volleyball, water polo and table tennis. Stamford offers sporting pathways across all sports from beginner to elite level in swimming, tennis, gymnastics, soccer, volleyball, basketball, rugby, touch rugby and golf.
Unique to SAIS is the Lions Golf Academy, for students from Grade 2 to 12 who train at the schools five indoor golf bays and at a partner course. Stamford offers a complete gymnastics program from recreational to competitive and has a dedicated gym with competition level equipment. The Lions Tennis Academy has two full time Stamford staff who are internationally recognised coaches. The Real Madrid Foundation Football School in Singapore offers both recreational and competitive programs, for students of all ages.
Over 850 students are currently involved in the Stamford Lions competitive programs and the school fields teams in ACSIS competitions from Under 8s through to Under 19s.
GEMS World Academy (Singapore)
Every student at GEMS (Singapore) participates in school sports programmes with numerous opportunities in PE lessons, sports teams and ECAs to learn including football, basketball, rugby 7s, cross-country running, touch rugby, netball, badminton and swimming. School teams compete in all three seasons of the ACSIS competition.
Two sports academies offer athletes from across Singapore exposure to some of the world’s top coaches and high performance learning and training environments. These academies aim to provide a pathway to high level sport performance and further training once athletes leave Singapore. The GEMS Swim Academy collaborates with X Lab Pro in an effort to raise the bar of competitive swimming in the region. Mark Chay, a two time Singaporean Olympian, and Jim Puleo, (former USA National Head Coach of four Olympians), develop training programs to push swimmers to exceed their own expectations.
The GEMS Rugby 7s Academy is presented by Sir Gordon Tietjens, who made his name coaching the New Zealand Rugby 7s All Blacks for 22 years, and is the most successful Rugby 7s rugby coach of all time. Training content and weekend coaching clinichs are provided through out the year by Sir Gordon Tietjens which gives players in Singapore an opportunity to learn from the best.
Want to read more about education in Singapore and extra costs like school sports programmes? Find out how much it really costs to send your child to an international school