An initiative co-developed together with SportCares, NTU Sea Lions is a social development water programme targeted at underprivileged children and youth-at-risk aged between 9 and 16 years old. Aside from the formal coaching by accredited instructors, volunteers from NTU Welfare Services Club – Regular Service Project (Youth) serve as befrienders and mentors to the younger participants during the programme.
The objectives of NTU Sea Lions are to:
- Instill self-confidence as they test their limits through water sports. In doing so, youths learn how to manage constraints and overcome difficulties in their lives through setting of end goals and working towards them;
- Provide an opportunity to interact with their personal mentors, who are our program volunteers; and
- Impart basic survival skills such as swimming.
For the first fun of NTU Sea Lions, participants came from AG Home and Children in Care Service, recommended by the Ministry of Social and Family Development. Most welfare homes lack the resources in providing opportunities for children to attend commercially available swimming lessons and interesting water sports. These children also usually lack positive role models at home and are vulnerable to peer pressure. Often, they are lagging behind their peers in schools, both academically and in terms of opportunities. They also tend to struggle more in their developmental process when they are unable to perform. Some of them will experience a sense of failure and lose all initiatives to excel at any level in their lives. At this age, they are most vulnerable to fall into juvenile delinquency gang association and subsequently become youths-at-risk.
Progressive training was catered for the participants and the whole programme consisted of three modules – swimming, sailing and windsurfing. Participants first learnt the basic swimming and survival skills from accredited instructors. Next, they were put on sail boats where capsizing drills form a major part of the module – at this stage, teamwork was emphasised as communication was key to control the sails. After completing the first two modules, the instructors then assigned each of them a windsurfing board, for them to learn how to manage on their own.
Funds for this programme were fully raised by NTU students at NTU Fest 2015 and NTU Sea Lions will continue for another two runs.
“I used to be a very timid and quiet person. After I attended this programme, life has become more meaningful for me and I am glad that I have a personal mentor whom I can seek advise and confine my problems with. A big thank you to the organisers!” A participant of NTU Sea Lions
About NTU Welfare Services Club – Regular Service Project (Youth)
Regular Service Project (Youth) collaborates closely with the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) to inspire troubled teenagers to be a better person.
It builds around three main pillars of Friendship, Excellence and Respect. Through Friendship, it fosters strong bonds with these teenagers by providing a platform for them to share their problems and challenges. It also aims to help them achieve excellence in their areas of interests and studies.
Volunteers from Regular Service Project (Youth) aims to be “A Friend, A Mentor, A Teacher” to our youths.