Raffles Institution

A SPORTS SCIENCE JOURNEY – E. W. BARKER INSTITUTE OF SPORTS ENRICHMENT PROGRAMME

Introduction

E W Barker Institute of Sports (EWBIS) was started with the vision to nurture students to become future leaders in the field of sports research, sports science and medicine, sports education and administration and sports coaching. 


It is named after Mr. Edmund William Barker – when in RI was a School Captain, Head Prefect and Champion Athlete in 1938. Mr. Barker was a top athlete in his school and university days. He represented Raffles College in cricket, soccer, rugby, athletics and hockey. Between 1970 to 1990, he had held other positions, such as the first President of the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC, November 1970 to 1990), President of the South-East Asia Peninsular Games Federation Council (September 1973).

The EWBIS Enrichment Programme Started in Oct 2009. It was an initiative by a small group of teachers with interested students from water polo, soccer and netball. Supported by then Principal Mrs Lim Lai Cheng, the programme was primarily conducted by staff from DSO National Laboratories. After a fruitful 10 years, we have produced more than 90 projects , and over 300 students have benefitted from the programme.

Curriculum

At Raffles Institution, the holistic development of the students is important. The enrichment programmes cater to the different interest that the students have. These programmes range from community and leadership programmes like the International Service Learning and Leadership Elective to Peer Helpers Programme and the various Olympiads. The once-a-week session within the structured timetable allows organised sessions to engage students effectively.

The EWBIS enrichment programme has about 13 sessions in a year, with each session lasting one and a half hours. 

Key knowledge / experience:

  • Understanding basic sports science. 
  • Appreciation of the importance of sports science in performance and in health.
  • Problem solving in research / working in groups.
  • Understanding / appreciating the issues in the sports industry.
  • Networking & Collaboration with like-minded students.

Typical Programme Timeline

SCHEDULE ACTIVITY REMARKS
February – March
(Term 1 Week 9 – 10)
Application for enrichment programme Screening based on Literature write-up 
March – May 
(Term 2 Week 1 – 9)
Commencement of programme Lessons focusing on hands-on experience and applications.
July – August 
(Term 3 Week 2 – 8)
Data Collection for research Projects are usually intervention based studies
November
(Term 4 last 2 weeks)
Preparation for trip / symposium Sharing of research study (pre symposium presentation)
Following Jan/ Feb Presentation at symposium / Submission of deliverables Ranging from poster presentations to short oral presentations of 10 minutes.

Topics Covered Over the Years

TOPICS ACTIVITIES
Treadmill V02 Measure of running V02 max. Comparing value with the typical 2.4km run done. Understanding how the oxygen uptake changes with training.
Hydration Understand the danger of over-hydration. Use of urine refractometer. Water loss during activity. Hydration strategies. Discuss hydration study done for 1st batch of students.
Strength & Conditioning Understand performance testing. Conditions for consistency. Setup & conduct of various test including Illinois Agility Test, Vertical Jump test etc. Discuss norms and use of norm versus self
Recovery Importance of recovery in exercise. Compare the various recovery techniques including ice bath, compression, active recovery, foam rolling etc.
Biomechanics Appreciate the importance of biomechanics in injury management. Use of software to analyse movement e.g. Standing Board Jump, Sprint starts etc. Discuss constraints opportunities for CCAs.
Balance & Core Understand the importance of balance and core in exercise and health. Conduct Stork Test and Star Excursion Balance test etc. Hands-on & discuss core training including the 3-minute plank assessment.
Bioenergetics Understand what goes on inside the energy system during exercises.
Psychology From hand-eye coordination / reflexes, breathing to cognitive-behavioural psychology. Understanding what motivates, encourages and what does not at an individual level.
Sports Journalism Appreciating Sports Journalism as a career and how it is essential in the ecosystem of an athlete.
Nutrition Self-made sports drinks to healthy version of a meal cooked on their own. Understanding how blood sugar changes with the ingestion of different GI foods.
Periodisation Understanding the rationale for periodisation planning and training. Making sense of training prescribed by coaches. Planning a training plan for themselves.
Sports Massage Simple techniques for sports massage.
Sports Taping Use of sports taping. Various different types of sports tapes. Basic concept of taping. Hands-on practice focusing on ankle and wrist.
Body Composition Discuss use of machine-based body composition, skin-fold callipers, girth measurements and BMI. Terms in descripting body type e.g.  Ectomorph etc.
Statistics As part of the research process, students will learn to analyse their results using Mann Whitney U test, T-tests etc.
Research Process To develop the investigative knowledge for solving problems. Key principles of integrity, willingness to explore possibilities and the courage to face failure when it happens. It starts with a problem, a possible solution, a trial, a journey.

External presenters like sports doctors, sports journalist and physiotherapist have been invited to conduct lessons in their fields of expertise. On top of lessons in schools, we have also visited sports science related laboratories in the various organisations like National Institute of Sports who had been very willing to conduct tours and hands-on sessions. During the year-end holidays, the students would be given the opportunity to understand the sports culture overseas and to interact with the lecturers and students. From sports marketing to the unique sporting culture in the different countries, students have a better understanding of the similarities and differences when comparing with the local context.


 Learning and Experiencing

Milestones

Support, Collaborations & Partnerships

EWBIS has been blessed with the continuous support of the school leaders, physical education department as well as teachers from the other departments who would put aside time to share their expertise. For example, teachers who had completed their PhD gave lessons and advice on research methodologies. Data analysis supported by Mathematics teachers who taught the students basic statistics to make more sense of what was being done.

The programme would not have been successful without the support of the sports science fraternity. Over the years, we have tried to keep our programme as current as possible by inviting professionals, practitioners and researchers to share their knowledge. In the beginning years, we had sports doctors who gave us advice related to research ethical clearance and to kick start our lessons.  

Special mention to Dr Jason Lee Kai Wei, Associate Professor at Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore. Over the last 10 years, Dr Jason Lee not only gave us invaluable advice when we needed them, he has also supported as Keynote address for our symposium, presentation judging panellist and facilitated laboratory visits. Our first “baby steps” in the programme from theory to practical were kindly conducted by him.

As we progressed and understood the need to learn and share, we partnered with DSO National Laboratories, National Institute of Education, Republic Polytechnic, then Singapore Sports Council and Singapore Sports School (National Youth Sports Institute) to run the Joint Symposium on Exercise and Sports Science over a few years. With the friendship fostered over the years, the various organisations continue to support each other in our various events. 

With our annual symposiums, came opportunities to invite schools and organisations to be part of this platform for sharing. Over the years, we had the honour of getting lecturers and students from the Institute of Technical Education (College East and Central) to conduct engaging hands-on workshops for the symposium participants. In addition, we had the support from other organisations including Real Madrid Foundation Singapore, Home United Football Club, Sports Medicine Centre at Changi General Hospital, Football Association Singapore and Fraser and Neave, Limited (F&N).

Our exploration to improve the programme was met with good fortune with the meeting of Mr. Geoff Wood from Rosmini College, Auckland New Zealand. An educator who is dedicated in providing a genuine learning experience for students worldwide. With the help of Mr. Geoff Wood, we had our first online presentation from New Zealand during the 2017 symposium. Since our meeting in 2012, Mr. Geoff Wood has been key for our various milestones include student joint research project, overseas experience, online connection and interaction with other students from other countries, student online presentations etc. Also with this friendship, our students were able to host the Rosmini College students when they are in Singapore. 

Opportunities

Professional Development for Staff

      • Refresh / Upgrade of teacher’s knowledge when conducting lessons as well as during the research supervising process.
      • Staff sharing at symposium workshop 


Professional Development

Public Speaking Skills

      • Annual Symposium as platforms for students to hone their presentation skills as well as their roles as workshop presenters and chairpersons.
      • Presented in online (Annual Conference by Western Society for Kinesiology & Wellness, USA)

Leadership skills

      • Problem solving and conflict management during the process of research (ranging for working on team dynamics to working with research participants) as well as in the planning for the annual symposium.
      • Strengthen / Develop values like Fortitude, Integrity, Respect, Commitment etc.

Collaboration: Locally and Internationally

      • Joint research with overseas students (Rosmini College, New Zealand)
      • Joint symposium with various organisations e.g. Republic Polytechnic, Sports School, Singapore Sports Institute (previously Sports Council), DSO Singapore and NIE (Joint Symposium in Exercise and Sports Science). 
      • Partnered ITE College East and College Central who conducted workshops at the EWBIS annual symposiums.
      • The EWBIS Student-Athlete’s Handbook was produced with alumnus Mr Steven Quek. It was also distributed to participants of the 2012 symposium to provide insights on strategies to balance sports and studies. 

Interaction with sports scientist and professionals in the fraternity


Sports Symposium Presentations

Conclusion

In summary, the journey has been an enriching one, for both staff and students. A programme that is chosen by students who are hungry for knowledge and driven to pursue their interest. The E.W. Barker Institute of Sports has enabled Raffles Institution to promote future platforms to raise the awareness and interests and provide opportunities for the students to groom into future leaders in the field of Sports Research, Sports Science and Medicine, We are also committed to sharing the expertise and experiences gained by the school in the process with other schools and sports science practitioners and sporting institutions, thereby raising the standard of sports science education and leadership in Singapore.


An overview of the EWBIS Sports Science Enrichment Programme

Contact Us

Email: ewbarker.is@ri.edu.sg

Website: http://www.ri.edu.sg/learning-at-ri/year-5-6