Grassroots ● Apr 19, 2015

FAS Launches All-girls Training Centre For Cubs Programme At Queensway Secondary

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SINGAPORE, 19 APRIL 2015: It may have rained cats and dogs early this morning, but the sudden downpour did not stop the launch of the Football Association of Singapore’s (FAS) first all-girls training centre for its Cubs Programme from getting off to a good start.

More than 40 primary school girls, aged between seven and 12, turned up at Queensway Secondary School at Margaret Drive today to learn how to play football, a figure which Julie Teo, the General Manager of the FAS’ Grassroots and Women’s Football Department, described as “very promising”.

“This is the first time I have seen so many girls in Singapore gathering to learn to play football,” she said. “We had feared that the thunderstorm would keep them away, and I think some kids didn’t turn up because of the bad weather.

“But thankfully, the rain cleared up before the start of the first session at 8am. And I am happy to see so many kids and their parents here today. Let’s hope the number will continue to grow over the next few weeks.”

The training centre at Queensway Secondary is the second Cubs Programme grassroots football centre to be launched by the FAS. The first was at Sembawang Primary two weeks ago. However, the Queensway Secondary centre only takes in girls.

“All our other centres will be opened to both boys and girls, but we thought it would be good to also have one catering specifically to girls,” said Teo. “This will help us to expand our base of primary school girls learning to play football. Those who are really talented may even go on to play for Queensway in the National Schools Girls Football Championships.”

Queensway Secondary is one of the top schools in girls football. The school usually finishes in the top four in the ‘B’ and ‘C’ Division tournaments, and won its first ‘B’ Division title last Wednesday.

The Cubs Programme at Queensway Secondary is open to all students from neighbouring primary schools – Pei Tong, New Town, Queenstown, Radin Mas, Cantonment, River Valley, Nan Hua, Gan Eng Seng, Zhengde, Henry Park, Blangah Rise, Lianhua and Fuhua.

However, Teo said that Programme is also open to students who are not from these schools.

“In fact, we’ve had some parents walking in this morning to inquire about signing up,” she added. “Their children are not from the neighborhood schools, but we welcomed them to sign up anyway. So long as they are willing to travel to here on Sunday mornings, they are welcome to join.”

It costs $50 to sign up for the first month. The fees include insurance, and a set of football attire (jersey, shorts and socks). Subsequently, the monthly fee is $24.

This morning’s participants were divided into three groups. Girls aged between 6 and 8 took part in the first session (8-9.30am) while older students (9-10 years and 11-12 years) trained in separate groups from 9.30 to 11am. Apart from learning how to pass, dribble and kick the ball, the kids also played a variety of ball games.

Madam Koshima Chan, who signed up her daughters Alethea, 8, and Alaina, 10, for the programme, said the Cantonment Primary students enjoyed their first session.

“I signed them up because they love football very much and watch matches with their father quite often,” she said. “We have been searching for a football programme like this for some time now.

“They are clearly enjoying themselves and it is also a good opportunity for them to get some exercise.”

Radin Mas Primary student Shereen Danial, 11, said: “I wanted to join this programme because I love football. My family introduced me to the sport and I started playing it when I was seven. I have a brother who trains with the National Football Academy U-15 squad and I hope to represent Singapore like him in future.

“I thought today’s training was fun and I am looking to improve my skills and techniques through this programme.”

The FAS will be opening its third centre at Serangoon Stadium in June. This centre will offer training on Saturdays. For more information, please write to grassrootsfootball@fas.org.sg.