Singapore: Sun Life and Beyond Sport support coach development, youth physical and mental wellness

| 06 Jun 2024

Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada Singapore Branch (Sun Life Singapore), in collaboration with global sport for social change foundation, Beyond Sport, is leveraging basketball and education to foster healthier communities in Singapore.

Aiming to positively impact hundreds of youngsters this year, the collaboration facilitated targeted skill development training for basketball coaches and provided a community grant to fund a series of basketball training sessions with a focus on encouraging participation by girls. This initiative underscores Sun Life’s long-standing advocacy for healthy lifestyles and community well-being. 

These efforts are part of a broader C$1 million regional Hoops + Health programme between Sun Life and Beyond Sport, to promote physical activity and wellness among underserved youth across Asia. Following community activities in Laguna (Philippines), Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) and Depok (Indonesia), the Singapore initiatives continued to leverage basketball’s popularity to advance community development.

In March 2023, Canada Basketball and Sun Life entered into a multi-year sponsorship. This regional Hoops + Health initiative, coming off the back of the Canada Men team’s participation in the FIBA World Cup in Asia in 2023, aligns with Sun Life’s commitment to giving back to the community through basketball.

In March 2024, a group of local coaches took part in a workshop hosted by local programme partner, Heart of Basketball (HOB), which runs indoor and outdoor youth basketball sessions. Organised by regional coach education partner, ASA Foundation, the workshop equipped the participants with tools to promote the importance of exercise, healthy nutrition and basketball as a sport, to advance youth health and mental well-being.

The workshop was a resounding success with 91% of attendees feeling confident in their ability to immediately put the activities they learned into practice. Additionally, a group of coaches also each received a specialised Hoops + Health tool kit offering practical knowledge and activity ideas to supplement their work. HOB had also been conducting twice-weekly basketball sessions specifically targeting girls supported by the programme grant. Around 30 girls had taken part over the past three months. 

On 31 May 2024, a lively 3x3 basketball tournament was held at the Kampong Ubi Community Centre to celebrate the progress of the girls participating in the Hoops + Health programme. The event was an opportunity for both players and coaches to showcase their growing skills. Girls from 10 teams were cheered on by their families, Sun Life Singapore representatives and local community supporters.