[Updated 18 June 2020, 19:45]
Dear member associations, athletes, coaches and officials,
As announced by the government, while Singapore may be exiting the circuit breaker from 2 June 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic is not over yet. As such, the key message to all Singaporeans has been to prepare ourselves adequately for Safe Re-opening (Phase 1) and Safe Transition (Phase 2) to prevent flares in community transmission, and a Safe Nation (Phase 3) that will be a new normal to ensure our continued safety until a vaccine can be found.
Para sports activities will gradually begin again, as like non-para sports activities, as per government guidance. Your patience and cooperation is deeply appreciated, and each and everyone of us play our part to understand and support each other through this “war”.
Our team has prepared a list of FAQs that will be updated accordingly as we receive further government guidance. These will, hopefully, be useful for you to be kept abreast of the going-ons, such as trainings and competitions. Do let us know if you have a question that is not addressed by the FAQ.
Thank you and stay safe.
Q: Can I start face-to-face training again from Friday 19 June 2020? [NEW]
A: As we are in the early period of phase 2, we are working tirelessly to ensure your safety as we move towards the resumption of training. It is in our shared interest to support Singapore’s “Safe Transition” Phase 2 (Please refer to SportSG Advisory), to prevent a return to heightened restrictions. To facilitate this approach, SportSG has approved SDSC resumption plan (please refer to SDSC Safe Return to Para Sports Plan).
However, this does not mean that every athlete can go back to training immediately on. As outlined, the plan requires engagement with and commitment from various stakeholders like national disability sport associations, coaches, venue owners, athletes and officials. Therefore, we request your patience as we work together to bring you back to training gradually. As much we hope that everyone can resume their practice soon, it is our duty to calibrate this resumption to ensure a safe return to sport, so that Singapore can make this transition successfully as one.
Q: Can I ask my coach to meet me for a personal training session [UPDATED]
A: Yes, you may but please refer to SportSG advisory on the safety measures.
Q: When can I return to face-to-face training? [UPDATED]
A: As we move towards the resumption of training, we seek your your patience as we work together to bring you back to training gradually (please refer to SDSC Safe Return to Para Sports Plan).
Q: What is meant by a “new normal” in terms of trainings and competitions? [UPDATED]
A: Singapore will adopt various safety guidelines through Phase 1 to Phase 3, at least until a vaccine for COVID-19 can be found, to ensure that Singaporeans remain safe. As such, the “new normal” would mean that we would not expect to return to the old state of trainings, even when they are resumed.
Trainings will take place in smaller groups, which may mean staggered trainings for you and your team mates. Other physical distancing measures will require that you maintain safe distances between yourself and your team mates during training, and that you reduce socialising outside trainings. Your relevant sports officer will be discussing such arrangements with your coach (or association) and inform you on the measures.
Singapore will adopt various safety guidelines through Phase 1 to Phase 3, at least until a vaccine for COVID-19 can be found, to ensure that Singaporeans remain safe. As such, the “new normal” would mean that we would not expect to return to the old state of trainings, even when they are resumed.
Q: Will I continue to receive my SpexTAG allowance if my trainings are suspended, if I am a carded athlete? [UPDATED]
A: As spexTAG allowances are provided to athletes to support them for trainings, athletes must demonstrate proof of achieving training requirements before they can receive the allowances. If there are arrangements for you to continue home-based training with your coach during period, you would continue to receive your allowance if you fulfil the training requirements.
Q: My sport is not able to resume training in the early period of phase 2. What can I do to keep fit? [UPDATED]
A: You are allowed to exercise outdoors or at sporting facilities but please remember to adhere to government guidelines when you step out to exercise, such as social distancing, preparing a mask to wear before and after exercise.
Do also visit our new resource portal, the Inside Track, for some ideas on what you can do. You can also follow our athletes to exercise with some of the guidance videos here.
Q: I am hoping to get carded for 2021. How can I apply for carding without results from international competitions now that the ASEAN Para Games 2020 and other international competitions have been cancelled?
A: Athletes across all kinds of sports in Singapore have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The issue of carding in such circumstances has been surfaced to SportSG. As the COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented, please allow SportSG some time to consider changes to the carding requirements, while they cope with the different phases of re-opening. Let’s lend support to them in the form of patience and grace during these trying times.
Q: I have lost my job / I am unable to find employment, due to the circuit breaker. Should I stop training?
A: We understand that this is a challenging period, and there may be some who wish to give up on their sporting aspirations. Before you do so, do check with your relevant sports officers if there are employment or upskilling opportunities that are available to support you. Some of the opportunities include:
- New employment opportunities at agencies such as SportSG and People’s Association, due to COVID-19
- Job vacancies listed by SG Enable
- Job vacancies available by spexBusiness partners (for carded athletes only)
- Job vacancies available by SDSC partners
- Upskilling support available from SDSC’s Focus on Abilities programme
Q: Since the circuit breaker and suspension of trainings, my income has been badly affected. What help is there? [UPDATED]
A: Do use the eligibility checker at https://www.supportgowhere.gov.sg/ to check on government schemes and plans that may be available to you.
In addition, SportSG has consolidated a list of resources that may be helpful to coaches to conduct digital lessons, and seek alternative employment. Do hop by for assistance.
Q: Can I conduct training from 2 June 2020, when the circuit breaker ends?
A: As Phase 1, beginning 2 June 2020, is to manage a safe reopening, sports and recreation facilities remain closed. (Please refer to SportSG Advisory and FAQ.) Therefore, please continue with your home-based training, if there are opportunities to do so with your athletes. Please submit your home-based training proposals to your relevant sports officer for discussion in advance.
Q: Does COVID-19 affect Persons with Disabilities more?
A: There is currently no evidence that COVID-19 affect Persons with Disabilities (PWD) more, but COVID-19 does affect persons with underlying conditions more adversely. Therefore, as long as you maintain adequate safety measures, the risk of you contracting COVID-19 is the same as everyone else. If you have an underlying medical condition or have a weaker immune system, you should take extra precautions as you may not recover easily if you contract COVID-19.
Your risk of contracting COVID-19 heightens if you do not maintain adequate safety measures, and you should evaluate these measures according to your daily routines. For example, if you have visual impairment and require more tactile contact with surfaces, or if you use a wheelchair to get around, do practise washing or disinfecting your hands before you put them on your face. Caregivers should also be requested to follow safety measures if they assist you in your routines.
If you are unclear about government advisories, do seek assistance from a family member or someone who can do so.
Q: Should we stop sports for Persons with Disabilities until the COVID-19 pandemic is entirely over?
A: No one can tell when the pandemic would be over. Meanwhile, Persons with Disabilities (PWD) rely on sports for the same reasons as persons without disabilities, such as to maintain fitness, mental well-being and social networks. Some PWD also rely on sports as a form of therapy, such as to maintain muscle mass and improve muscle tone.
As there is currently no evidence that COVID-19 affect PWD more, para sports will resume gradually according to government guidelines, with adequate safety measures in place as with other sports. However, we shall deliberate underlying medical conditions such as weak immune systems, before the resumption of activities, to manage risk to such individuals specifically.