SG News (Straits Times)

Virtually fit and active

By December 26, 2020 No Comments

Before stricter social distancing measures kicked in here on April 7, Joris Mathias would play tennis with his friends at the Farrer Park Tennis Centre three to four times a week.

But since the circuit breaker period began, the 28-year-old has had to find new ways to keep fit.

Through one of his tennis friends, he has since discovered ActiveSG Circle, one of the initiatives developed by national sports body Sport Singapore (SportSG) to create opportunities for Singaporeans to exercise using virtual platforms.

Mathias, who works as a treasurer in a multinational company, uses the platform to practise yoga. “I find that the content on the website is accessible and easy to follow, and the beauty of it is that I could use it for more than one purpose during this period,” he said.

“On average I use the platform around 30 to 45 minutes a day.”

Launched last week, ActiveSG Circle is a virtual super sport club platform that connects private fitness instructors and freelancers with its members, who can access online fitness classes created by the industry players in sports such as yoga, pilates, and strength training. Membership is free as is some of its content, while some cost between $10 and $20.

ActiveSG Circle currently has 88 verified instructors and it will be finalising schedules for the public to participate in the coming weeks.

“We expect the number of instructors to rise as we work with the national registrar of coaches to be on the platform,” said Darren Ho, assistant director of SportSG’s digital operation centre.

Bollywood Zumba fitness instructor Neha Sethi was one of the first to conduct classes via the platform. The 29-year-old freelancer has seen her income dip by 50 to 60 per cent during the circuit breaker period. She usually charges between $20 and $25 per person, but her online classes cost $12.

She told The Straits Times: “I feel that it is a good way to advertise my classes and get more people to join as ActiveSG has a user base of more than 1.8 million.

“I am grateful for this platform and with ActiveSG’s wide reach, I am sure I would get more attendees.”

Bollywood Zumba fitness trainer Neha Sethi at home.
Personal assistant Diana Tay, 29, is refreshed after a piloxing class with coach Jeni Lim.

Freelance coach Jeni Lim, who teaches piloxing – a workout incorporating pilates, boxing and dance – said the platform would allow her to “reach out to families to work out together” as compared to a studio workout.

ActiveSG Circle’s content is also available on GetActive TV, a Facebook and YouTube channel launched by SportSG which provides virtual classes for pilates, yoga and body-weight workouts, among others. There are also Covid-19 updates, talk shows and even cooking shows and its programmes are simulcasted on GetActiveTV from Monday to Friday (8.30am to 5pm).

Student Ramya Bhai, 20, watches the workout videos every morning, saying: “GetActive TV is extremely useful for me to find workout videos because they have expert opinions from different trainers which makes it a lot more reliable as compared to others that may be a hoax.”

Bollywood Zumba fitness trainer Neha Sethi at home. PHOTOS COURTESY OF DIANA TAY, DANCE & TONIC

Aside from these initiatives, SportSG also recently launched a $2 million grant under the GetActive! Singapore 2020 Active Enabler Programme. Sport professionals, coaches and fitness instructors and businesses in the industry can submit proposals for digital content and virtual activities to help people stay active at home.

  • 88

  • Verified instructors in ActiveSG Circle.

The Singapore Sports Hub has also jumped on the bandwagon by offering a virtual workout experience through its new online series. The seven-minute workout sessions include cardio, mind-body, strength, endurance and conditioning and will be posted daily on its website.


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