PENANG: With its development philosophy LiveLearnWorkPlay as a framework, the S P Setia Foundation hosted 100 students from SK Batu Ferringhi, SJKC Aik Hua and SJK(T) Tasek Permai to an exciting Sports Day which saw the students working together in teams of ten to finish five activities together. Themed ‘Sports Day For All: Building A Better Malaysia’, the event was organised in collaboration with Design For Learning, an educational design studio that works on improving learning and teaching experiences for young children.
Held at the rooftop area of Subterranean Penang International Conference & Exhibition Centre (SETIA SPICE), the event was made even more memorable with the attendance of Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr Wan Zahid bin Mohd Noordin (Chairman of S P Setia and the S P Setia Foundation) and the management team of S P Setia Property North.
“The S P Setia Foundation is happy to bring forth a sports day programme that integrates the spirit of unity, inclusivity and patriotism with fun and educational activities especially as we celebrate Malaysia’s National Day in this month of August,” said Tan Sri Wan Zahid in his opening speech.
He explained that the current sports days held in schools focuses merely on physical abilities and teamwork. “Only the physically active students are selected as competing athletes, and these selections hardly take into account other criteria such as a student’s interest and passion towards the sport. There is a lack of opportunity and awareness for special children to be a part of sports days when in fact research has shown that 70% of these kids want to be included in,” added Tan Sri Wan Zahid.
The collaboration with Design For Learning prepares all the children involved with specially-designed sports activities that are based on three essential elements namely; educational, inclusiveness and learn by play. More than 30 special children from SJKC Aik Hua joined in the event which saw more than 40 volunteers coming together to assist.
“The educational part of the programme today taught the children about the rich history of Malaysia and its famous buildings around the country. In terms of inclusiveness, our sports day allowed every student to participate and enjoy the sports activity that was not only engaging and fun; but also encouraged the team members to come together to discuss each other’s strength,” said Anne Marie Tan, Community & Partnership Manager of Design For Learning.
Tan explained further saying that students learn best through the act of playing. Therefore, the whole sports day programme is based on the element of ‘learning by play’ so that students including the special children can receive maximum learning output.
It was indeed a fruitful day well spent, and the students were intrigued by the unique approach to a sports day through this initiative by the S P Setia Foundation. Team ‘Blue’ emerged as the most creative team in building their ‘cardboard city’ for the event and received medals and souvenirs for their effort. “We really enjoyed this sports day as we learned a lot about our country as well as made new friends from other schools,” said the winning team captain, Jonathan A/L Baskar,10 from SJKT Tasek Permai. Besides having an exciting day, every child went home with a specially-designed medal engraved with the inspiring words “I am a winner” for their participation in the sports day.
“The S P Setia Foundation will continue to engage more activities with young children in the future as they need to be nurtured from a tender age in order to build a better Malaysia,” said Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr Wan Zahid. “Initiatives such as these can help instil unity and provide a platform for special children to integrate with their peers as we aim to make an impact on young minds,” he added.