Sports For All
ENGAGEMENT
EVENTS
It is very reassuring to see how the corporate culture in Singapore has been bending towards being inclusive towards PWDs, with more companies making a conscious effort to hire people with disabilities. However, while we can see how championing the cause for PWDs has worked steadily in the corporate sector, there is still much to be done for the community at large and their daily interactions with PWDs. Improving the way in which the community interacts with PWDs is particularly important step in societal integration. Due to physical differences, PWDs have a hard time mingling with their immediate environment which can have a negative effect on their self-esteem and a sense of alienation. By providing avenues and opportunities to have common ground for communication, it increases exposure and awareness of PWDs and also give PWDs the opportunity to mingle with the public and have avenues for sports and leisure. Thankfully, Singapore has been working towards improving its community initiative for PWDs - one lesser-known way in which this is done is through sports. In fact, Society Staples has been partnering with various organizations to promote social inclusion through these sporting activities below: 1. DBS Marina Regatta - Paddle for Good [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EC7IgUzio6o[/embed] For the uninitiated, DBS has an annual sporting event called DBS Marina Regatta, which serves as a fundraiser as well as community event to promote social inclusion and inclusive sports. For its 2016 installation, Society Staples played its part in raising awareness about adaptive paddlers (paddlers with disability) through disability simulations which helped participants understand what goes in 'A Day in the Life of an Adaptive Paddler'. 2. ASEAN Para Games Carnival - The Inclusive Interaction Inclusive Interaction ASEAN Para Games Carnival was a week’s long worth of activities held at Sports Hub to promote functional fitness and inclusive sports, as well as create a greater awareness of disability sports in the general community. The activities included strongman stations such as the conventional car pull, tyre flips and the not-so-conventional disability simulations; which helps non-PWDs understand how exercise is like in the shoes of a PWD and also the daily struggles they have to go through. For the fitness junkie, there were weekend fitness bootcamps at allocated time slots that they could sign up for. 3. Giant Games Festival 2016 [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJC-0DCp0xQ&feature=youtu.be[/embed] Having partnered with Sport SG and Active Enabler Grant in conjunction with celebrating SG51, Singapore's first ever Giant Games festival in 2016 featured larger than life-sized (and actual sized games) for PWDs and non-PWDs to take part in. Held in various pop-up locations in the heartlands, this is an inclusive and accessible event for all to kick their shoes off and enjoy sports in an unconventional yet fun way. The festival aims to promote healthy living by having participants take part in various mini ‘sporting competitions’ available such as badminton, table tennis and more. It also promotes inclusive sports as the games take into account the fact that PWDs might have a more difficult time playing with sporting equipment that are too small (such as conventional table tennis balls), and modify the game such that the balls now are much bigger to accommodate the PWDs.
ENGAGEMENT
It felt like just a couple of years ago when corporate social responsibility (CSR) was seen as an unnecessary investment to fulfil the (then) pretentious triple bottom line and keep up with society’s uppity moral facade. Oh how the winds have changed. According to a recent article by Huffington Post, 64% of CEOs are paying closer attention to how CSR plays its part in corporations. As the business landscape continues to evolve, trust becomes the most important currency, where businesses are vying to gain consumers’ trust in return for unwavering support. This translates inevitably to greater investment into CSR initiatives for businesses. Here are some insights on how you can jump on the bandwagon and up your CSR game in the coming 2018: 1. Taking a stand is more important than ever As consumers gain trust in corporations, they will increasingly look towards them to take a firm stance on moral and ethical issues - businesses are now obligated to take responsibility beyond their business operations. This can mean anything from being more accountable towards carbon footprints of their company and stakeholders, to taking a stance on employing people of special needs. While it is not possible to pay attention to every single issue, companies need to determine for themselves how relevant each issue is to the business and be reactive accordingly. More often than not, companies are hesitant to express overt opinions on issues, especially if they are of a controversial or contentious nature in fear of offending those who oppose. However, in 2017, customers care about a company stance on social issues as much as what product they are selling. Taking a stand helps with corporate branding tremendously, as customers feel that they are connecting on a more emotional level as compared to if companies stick to politically correct statements without much impact. 2. Engaged employees are your key ingredient Many companies focus too much on the customer side of things, without realizing that one key stakeholder is often left out of the mix - employees. While companies do understand that employee happiness is key to organizational success, but few know exactly how to go about do it. While there is of course no hard and fast rule, increasing your company’s social responsibility while communicating your business’s higher level purpose is one way to do it - while attracting the best talent. Millennials, who will soon make up close to 50% of the workforce by 2020, are particularly drawn to companies with a strong sense of purpose and meaning to do greater good in society. As brand ambassadors, they can serve as living and breathing exemplifications of your company’s mission and values. 3. The time to integrate is now or never In 2017, companies are making the transition to long-term commitment with CSR - marrying social impact with their business mission and essentially making CSR the core of their business. Companies can no longer ‘get away’ with a project-based CSR activity. Without a solid social mission to boot, the business objective can hardly stand the test of time. Serving a social mission that benefits more than company profits is one way to show the sincerity towards the commitment to society. In addition, this is also an excellent way to promote a positive brand reputation among your company’s stakeholders.