Categories
In The Force

Making 2022 count

NSPI Fredric Kong looks forward to reaching greater heights in the year ahead while reflecting on the lessons learnt in the past year.

TEXT: HOMETEAMNS
PHOTOS: FREDRIC KONG

In 2022, NSPI Fredric Kong will have plenty of opportunities to accomplish his goals as a Company Adjutant in the Singapore Police Force (SPF) – a vocation overseeing a company’s discipline, welfare, administration and training targets.

NSPI Kong aims to inspire and shape the over 500 trainees under his care into motivated, disciplined and competent police officers. He believes that giving the trainees goals and a sense of purpose, as well as making training realistic and enjoyable, are essential. He also hopes to share with them his frontline experiences during an attachment to a Neighbourhood Police Centre.

BECOMING A LEADER

Passing out from the Officer Cadet Course (OCC) as a commissioned senior officer did not come easy. In 2021, NSPI Kong underwent the demanding nine-month course at the Training Command, which required the officer cadets (OCTs) to be versed in general and criminal law, as well as policing skills and procedures on responses to various incidents as a Ground Response Force officer. Given the emphasis on leadership and decision-making, these skills were then tested in a command centre virtual simulation exercise where the OCTs were required to oversee ground forces in response to various incidents.

In addition, the OCTs went through a gruelling 19-day leadership course with the Outward Bound School (OBS) at Pulau Ubin. Upon graduation from the OCC, these newly minted National Service Probationary Inspectors (NSPIs) would then move on to undertake important positions at various departments or specialist units, such as the Special Operations Command (SOC) or the Protective Security Command (ProCom).

TAKING THE LEAD

NSPI Kong believes in the importance of giving trainees goals and a sense of purpose.

In the new year, NSPI Kong recalls what he had learnt from two memorable experiences during his OCC. The first involved months of hard work and long training hours, which culminated in him marching proudly as part of the Police Guard-of-Honour Contingent at the National Day Parade (NDP) – twice – on the 9th and 21st August 2021.

Weeks before the NDP, the participants were balancing rehearsal commitments with their coursework, an upcoming summative criminal law assessment, an Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT) and a Stay Home Order (as part of the parade’s safe management measures due to the fluctuating COVID-19 situation).

NSPI Kong, who was the squad’s Vice-Chairman, decided that he needed to take action to help his squad succeed. He worked closely with his squad’s Academic and Sports ICs to implement supplementary programmes to help his squadmates prepare for the assessment and enhance their fitness for the IPPT. NSPI Kong also personally produced mock exam questions and hosted pre-exam review sessions. “The key was being proactive,” he reflected. “That was what made all the difference.”

Now as a Company Adjutant, NSPI Kong wants to continue exercising initiative and enhance training opportunities. He already has several ideas in mind for 2022 and is working with his supervisors to realise them.

IN GOOD COMPANY

The second experience took place amid the choppy waves at the Northern tip of Singapore during a five-day sea expedition with OBS. At the time, NSPI Kong and his team braved an unforgiving downpour while having to maintain a compact fleet formation. However, in the middle of facing the storm, they were rewarded with an unforgettable sight. “I saw that as it grew more radiant, two brilliant arcs of prismatic light – a double rainbow – had emerged from the fog,” he recounted.

These moments with his squadmates made him appreciate and treasure the camaraderie that they had built over the past nine months. Having once been a trainee himself, he hopes the trainees never forget to treasure the moments along the way, even in their short two-year National Service (NS) stint. To make their time in NS rich and meaningful, he is ready to work hard with his team of Field Instructors and Course Managers.

A JOURNEY OF LEARNING

NSPI Kong will be pursuing a PhD programme at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) after completing his full-time NS and aims to complete writing one or two research papers during his weekends by the end of 2022. Despite committing most of his time to carrying out his duties, NSPI Kong still makes an effort to further his knowledge in his field of studies.

The keen learner exemplifies the theme of continuous education during NS, which is facilitated to full-time National Servicemen (NSFs) through the NS e-PREP Scheme. This scheme facilitates NSFs’ transition from full-time National Service to further studies or into the workforce by offering a wide range of courses and modules, helping NSFs keep up with their peers.

In his own time, NSPI Kong wishes to uncover the more complex effects of trade and trade policies so that Singapore can link its financial and trading hub status to sustainable economic growth. It would a challenging goal for many, but this does not faze NSPI Kong: “It is no simple endeavour, for sure – but I don’t make my New Year resolutions easy!”

HITTING THE MARK

Besides shouldering his newly assigned duties as Company Adjutant, NSPI Kong has made his personal resolution for the new year — to complete his 2.4 km run in under nine minutes. He believes in continuously pushing his limits with a positive mindset to achieve his goals. 

Categories
Close Up

Having the right attitude

DSP (NS) Mohamad Syaifudin bin Ahmad Ismail takes his health seriously, having witnessed first-hand the effects of a sedentary lifestyle. 

TEXT: KEENAN PEREIRA
PHOTOS: DSP (NS) MOHAMAD SYAIFUDIN BIN AHMAD ISMAIL

Even at 36 years of age, DSP (NS) Mohamad Syaifudin bin Ahmad Ismail is an example of a highly disciplined individual.

“Early in my life, I had seen the effects of a poor diet and sedentary lifestyle,” he tells Frontline.

At the age of 11, he saw his father suffer a heart attack. Ten years later, he watched his mother battle cancer. Fortunately, both DSP (NS) Syaifudin’s parents beat their ailments and continue to lead healthy lives today. “As a kid, I didn’t automatically link these to poor diet and lack of exercise. But at university where I studied Physical Education and Sports Science, I decided to make a change,” he reflects.

Well-built and toned, the NS Commanding Officer (CO) of Training, Training Command (TRACOM), clocks at least five sessions a week at the gym and complements his physical regimen with a strict diet: Five half-boiled eggs and a cup of oatmeal every morning, followed by grilled chicken breast or salmon with a large serving of roasted vegetables for lunch and dinner. “I do indulge on weekends,” says DSP (NS) Syaifudin, who is the recipient of the SPF NSman (PNSman) of the Year award in 2021.

ADAPTING TO A NEW WAY OF STAYING FIT

Since then, DSP (NS) Syaifudin has been leading a healthy lifestyle but has adjusted certain routines to fit his changing life situation. One of the most significant changes is something we all go through –   ageing. “I love to play football. In my 20s, I could play with teenagers, but these days, it would place a great strain on my body,” says the Physical Education (PE) teacher who teaches at a local educational institution.

In fact, DSP (NS) Syaifudin has sustained three knee surgeries in recent years, all while playing football. “After the latest incident, I decided to call it quits. It was difficult at first because I was obsessed with the game growing up. But it’s something I had to do if I wanted to stay active in other ways.”

This included working out at the gym and going on walks with his family. “Both my wife and I are PE teachers, so we are eager to instil a love for physical activity in our children,” says the father of three, aged six years, five years and four months old. Despite being together for nearly two decades, the couple is passionate about keeping their romance alive. “We do this by going for bike rides and trail walks together, as well as enjoying a quiet meal in each other’s company whenever we can.”

DSP (NS) Syaifudin and his wife are keen to instil a love for physical activity in their children.

DRIVEN TO NURTURE

Such moments of respite are welcome after long days in school, where DSP (NS) Syaifudin is also the Head of Discipline. He reveals that the past two years have been challenging for educators like himself. “PE lessons and co-curricular activities have been adapted so that students can participate safely in small groups, depending on the prevailing safe management measures,” he shares. “Before the pandemic, I would also speak at morning assembly at least once a week, reminding my students of the importance of self-discipline and inculcating good values and habits. But since we can’t gather in large groups anymore, this is now done virtually. More work has to go into continually engaging the students at this time.”

Still, DSP (NS) Syaifudin remains passionate about his work because he enjoys mentoring and interacting with people, both young and old. It’s something that his NS role also allows for. “Most of my batchmates have already completed their NS obligations, but I’m still at it, 13 ICT cycles later,” he says. “I am grateful for this chance to serve and groom the next generation of NSmen and I’ll continue giving it my all while I still can.”

WINNING WAYS

Over the years, DSP (NS) Syaifudin has Received numerous awards and accolades, including:

  • Seven consecutive gold awards for his IPPT (from 2015 to 2021)
  • Director PNS Commendation Award in 2017 for his work organising the HomeTeamNS REAL® Run in conjunction with NS50
  • PNSman of the Year 2021

“I’m very grateful for the positive affirmation from my NS Commander, PNSmen PO, fellow PNSmen and regular officers from the TRACOM, where I serve,” he says. “I could not have done it without the strong support of my wife and family and my school leaders and colleagues.”

Categories
Club Buzz

A season to be jolly

HomeTeamNS members had a ho-ho-holly jolly time at the clubhouses during the December holidays, as they immersed themselves in festive activities like lucky draws, crafts, and contributing care packages to the needy.

TEXT: ADLINA ADAM
PHOTOS: HOMETEAMNS

FIFA 22 TOURNAMENT AT PLAYPEN BUKIT BATOK

PlayPen hosted its first and largest FIFA 22 Christmas Tournament on 18 December 2021 from 10am to 4pm. Some 24 participants pitted their skills against each other for bragging rights to be the best e-footballer. The tournament consisted of three stages – Group Stage, Knockout Round, and Grand Final, and was open to all age groups. 

With entry fees starting at S$35, the tournament included guaranteed FIFA 22 match play sessions and a S$10 meal voucher to Éla, a Halal Greek Restaurant at HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok. Participants also stood a chance to win a Nintendo Switch OLED console in a virtual lucky draw.

HomeTeamNS would like to congratulate George, Sabri, and Ignatius – the FIFA 22 Christmas Tournament’s top-three finishers. The top three won an Xbox Series S (worth S$459), a S$100 Premier Football Voucher and a S$50 Premier Football Voucher respectively.

“This is a great initiative by HomeTeamNS! Kudos to the PlayPen team for organising this tournament. I hope there will be more similar tournaments in the future!”, shared HomeTeamNS member Sabri Daud, who finished second.

PlayPen plans to accommodate more members in future tournaments. Stay tuned for information on upcoming events on Laser Quest’s Facebook Page or our website.

CHRISTMAS WINTERLAND AT HOMETEAMNS BUKIT BATOK

From a Winterland Snowy Experience to Winter Craft sessions, 325 HomeTeamNS members and their loved ones had an enjoyable time at HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok during the December holidays.

Winterland Snowy Experience

Who said you can’t experience snow in sunny Singapore? HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok found a workaround to our tropical climate by setting up a cosy air-conditioned tent by the swimming pool that offered a magical experience. Families had a blast playing in the “winter” wonderland, courtesy of the cool air and artificial snow foam.

“We love how interactive the Christmas activities are, especially the Snowy Experience!” shared HomeTeamNS member, Jerome Ng.

Winter Craft

Back by popular demand, Winter Craft sessions made a return this Christmas season at HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok on 26 December 2021. With well-loved options such as Sand Art and Slime Making, the craft sessions were open to all.

Missed out on these exciting activities? Catch up with HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok for a Feng Shui Talk during the upcoming Chinese New Year period. Look out for the event details on the HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok Facebook Page or on the HomeTeamNS website.

CAUSE IT’S CHRISTMAS AT HOMETEAMNS KHATIB

It’s the season of sharing! HomeTeamNS Khatib rallied members and guests to contribute Care Packs and Play Passes to two beneficiaries – Tak Takut Kids Club by 3 Pumpkins, a community space for children, and the Sunshine Welfare Action Mission (SWAMI) Home, a voluntary welfare organisation that provides integrated nursing home care services to the elderly.

The care packages consisted of daily essentials such as toiletries and groceries, while the Play Passes admitted the children for play time at Adventure HQ and T-Play. A total of 123 contributions were made by HomeTeamNS members and guests, which brought smiles to the beneficiaries.

Members and guests who contributed gifts were treated to a Christmas carnival organised by HomeTeamNS Khatib on 11 and 12 December 2021. Some 180 members and guests played Minute-To-Win-It games, jumped around at the Bouncy Castle and received a Merry Bag inclusive of a gelato voucher from Jewel Cafe.

A CRAFTY CHRISTMAS AT HOMETEAMNS-JOM BALESTIER

Craft and Lunch with Santa

In collaboration with SmartArtz Studio and Indulge Teppanyaki and Grill House, 20 members and 10 guests of HomeTeamNS-JOM Balestier created their own Gingerbread House Craft as a pair and had a hearty Western meal with Santa Claus on 19 December 2021.

Help Santa Lose Weight

After all that Christmas feasting, Santa is sure to have gained a pound or two. HomeTeamNS members were tasked to help Santa lose weight, either by eating a healthy meal at HomeTeamNS-JOM Balestier eateriesJom Makan Seafood or Indulge Teppanyaki & Grill House, or by completing simple workouts – 20 Jumping Jacks or 30 Squats!

Members were spoiled for choice for healthy meal options, including Seafood White Bee Hoon and Stir-fry Garlic Kang Kong from Jom Makan Seafood, and any dishes containing Chicken Breast or Salmon Fillet from Indulge Teppanyaki & Grill House.

Christmas Craft-A-Land and Gift DIY

At the Christmas Craft-A-Land event on 18 and 19 December 2021, 177 HomeTeamNS members and 156 guests participated in various fun station games and activities including Candy Cane Hook, a Christmas Quiz and Walk, Find & Snap.

Candy Cane Hook participants were tasked to transfer Candy Canes from one bucket to another; while for Walk, Find & Snap, contestants combed the clubhouse to find Christmas-related items and take photos for a chance to win prizes.

Eight lucky winners walked away with prizes worth S$550 across the two-day event, with one grand prize and three consolation prizes given out each day.

Missed out on the fun? Don’t fret! Keep fit with HomeTeamNS-JOM Balestier and receive S$20 food and beverage vouchers when you sign up for Judo and Karate classes, from 1 to 31 January 2022.

SPIN & WIN AT FITNESS WORKZ

In the spirit of giving, members who signed up for the six-month or 12-month memberships at any of Fitness Workz gyms between 20 to 31 December 2021 got to spin the wheel and walk away with prizes. A total of 69 members signed up for the gym memberships and received free gifts such as an Under Armour backpack, smoothie blender, ab wheel roller and suspension trainer.

“I thank the trainers for presenting me with this gift. It is not all the time you get to win something. The suspension trainer allows me to add something different to my current workout!” shared Muhamad Sallehan Bin Zainuddin.

Wish to work out as a group? Look out for the promotions for group classes on the HomeTeamNS Fitness Workz Facebook Page.

SANTA’S LUCKY DIP AT T-PLAY BUKIT BATOK

Between 11 and 25 December 2021, T-Play members who booked a slot at T-Play Bukit Batok were entered in Santa’s Lucky Dip. Three lucky winners won a 2D1N Villa Staycation at HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok, a Junior Bicycle Set (inclusive of a bicycle, helmet, and elbow and knee pads) or a two-hour Console Game Time at PlayPen and three Laser Quest Missions (for two people each) at HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok.

The winners were announced through an interactive Facebook Live session on 26 December 2021 on T-Play’s Facebook page. T-Play Bukit Batok also encouraged online viewers to be among the first five to like, share and comment on the post to stand a chance to win T-Play Art Packs.

Missed out on all the fun? Stay tuned for more clubhouse activities and events coming up next month! Check out the HomeTeamNS Official Facebook Page or website for the latest updates.

Categories
Lifestyle

Looking ahead to a new year and a new waterfront clubhouse

After a year as HomeTeamNS President, Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim shares his insights and what he’s looking forward to in 2022.

TEXT: MELODY TAN
PHOTOS: MEDIACORP

Taking on a new position – whether you’re starting a new job or heading an entire organisation – is often a challenge. For Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, assuming the presidency of HomeTeamNS in 2020 was made more challenging as it took place amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Assoc Prof Faishal, who is Minister of State, Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of National Development, said that his appointment in HomeTeamNS so far has been rewarding, and offered him valuable insights. “I was able to witness the resilience and strength of our HomeTeamNS staff and volunteers first-hand, as they overcame obstacles and adapted to the ever-changing landscape to continue engaging our Home Team NSmen,” he recounts.

He shared how HomeTeamNS had adapted existing programmes for the safety and well-being of members by going online, while still maintaining a sense of camaraderie.

For example, HomeTeamNS was one of the first event organisers to introduce the Virtual Fitness Training (VFT) for Home Team NSmen and bring the physical REAL® Run onto a virtual platform. During the circuit breaker period, with the closure of gyms, the HomeTeamNS crew at Fitness Workz took their strength and conditioning classes online. They also used social media to share useful content about fitness and exercise for members to incorporate into at-home training programmes.

“I strongly believe that it’s the journey we take together that matters,” said Assoc Prof Faishal. “I am heartened to see our members, volunteers and staff working together to tackle the challenges and becoming more united as a result.”

A CLUBHOUSE THAT’S ALSO A WATERFRONT HAVEN

Looking ahead to 2022, one highlight for HomeTeamNS is the opening of its Bedok Reservoir Clubhouse. The only reservoir-fronting clubhouse in Singapore, Bedok Reservoir Clubhouse boasts an array of new concepts for members and their families.

Some exciting facilities include an indoor water adventure that will house Singapore’s first two-storey indoor water playground with a high-element water obstacle course. The clubhouse will also have ManCaves (a hangout space that includes amenities like complimentary WiFi, a built-in kitchenette with a fridge and karaoke system) with reservoir views and an infinity swimming pool!

“Close to one-third of our members reside in the east,” Assoc Prof Faishal said. “With the opening of Bedok Clubhouse, they will finally have a clubhouse nearer to them which they can enjoy. We at HomeTeamNS can get to know them better, too – and we certainly look forward to that.”

Assoc Prof Faishal in front of a scale model and artist rendering of the HomeTeamNS Bedok clubhouse, which is set to open later in 2022.

Assoc Prof Faishal added that the Bedok Reservoir Clubhouse will allow the association to enhance its cohesion programmes for Home Team NSmen with new activities. Home Team NSmen can look forward to a wider variety of water activities, such as dragon boating when the new clubhouse is ready.

To make full use of the facilities, members can book the clubhouse’s Waterfront Villas for a staycation with their families. Situated on a forested hill overlooking a tranquil waterfront, these villas will be perfect for a temporary escape from the urban bustle.

“On top of bringing our NSmen together for NS-related events and activities in the Bedok Clubhouse, we hope that they will also build new memories with their loved ones and their fellow NSmen in this new clubhouse. Birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, celebrations – the list goes on,” said Assoc Prof Faishal. He also hinted at more clubhouse features to be announced. “We’ll reveal them at a later time – stay tuned!”

HOPES FOR THE NEW YEAR

In a reality reshaped by COVID-19, Assoc Prof Faishal acknowledged that he misses the face-to-face interactions with HomeTeamNS members.

In a reality reshaped by COVID-19, Assoc Prof Faishal acknowledged that the one thing he misses the most is face-to-face interactions with HomeTeamNS members.

“Before the COVID-19 pandemic, I enjoyed seeing our members bond over various activities with their friends and family at our clubhouses,” he said, adding that he enjoys having dinner with his family at the numerous eateries across the four HomeTeamNS clubhouses. “I hope that the COVID-19 situation will improve so that we can have more opportunities to interact in person and enjoy more physical activities together.”

For now, Assoc Prof Faishal treasures any chance to meet up with volunteers and staff in person. “I enjoy the interaction and learning, and yes – we do have fun producing videos, exploring the new clubhouses and getting to know members better.”

As part of his mission as HomeTeamNS President, Assoc Prof Faishal intends to continue recognising and celebrating the contributions of Home Team NSmen.

As part of his mission as HomeTeamNS President, he hopes to continue building on the organisation’s values of recognising and celebrating the contributions of Home Team NSmen on a larger scale. He plans to achieve a deeper understanding of NSmen’s and members’ evolving needs and coming up with useful programmes and initiatives.

“Members can look forward to us stepping up our digitalisation efforts,” he added. “These include the new mobile app launch, implementation of an A.I. (artificial intelligence) chatbot online and self-help kiosks in clubhouses. With the new clubhouses and the continuous upgrading of our current clubhouses, we will also bring in more new members and continue building an active membership base.”

Besides expanding the HomeTeamNS family, one of Assoc Prof Faishal’s resolutions for 2022 is “to continue to recognise the efforts and contributions of not just our NSmen, but also their families. My hopes are that members and NSmen will be proud of being part of our big Home Team family, that the shared spaces we have built will be well-used and cherished, and that HomeTeamNS will be the club of choice for our NSmen.”

For the latest updates on HomeTeamNS news and events, visit our website or official Facebook page.

Categories
Club Buzz

Thanking our everyday heroes

To honour our very own Guardians and their invaluable contributions to the nation, HomeTeamNS held a movie screening of Spider-Man: No Way Home for the Home Team heroes.

TEXT: ADLINA ADAM
PHOTOS: HOMETEAMNS

After a two-year hiatus, HomeTeamNS brought back its Member’s Exclusive Movie Screening event on 17 December 2021 for the nation’s everyday heroes. Some 326 members snagged the highly-sought-after tickets and were among the first to watch the Marvel multiverse unfold in the star-studded blockbuster Spider-Man: No Way Home.

Tickets, priced at S$10 (inclusive of a popcorn combo) were snapped up in less than a week. To spice things up, members were encouraged to dress for the occasion. Fans who wore Spider-Man-themed outfits stood a chance to win prizes for being the best-dressed hero or villain. By the end of screening, 10 members walked home with a pair of Cathay Cineplexes Movie Vouchers.

One moviegoer shared that the HomeTeamNS Movie Screening was a great opportunity for HomeTeamNS members to get together and meet old friends, colleagues and even other families.

Catch the next movie screening with your family and loved ones! Sign them up for the HomeTeamNS Family Scheme (HFS) for as low as S$20 for a two-year membership. Registration for the second and subsequent HomeTeamNS family members (children under 21 years old) within each family is free! To sweeten the deal, the one-time administrative fee of S$10 for each new family member application will be waived until 31 March 2022. 

Learn more about the HomeTeamNS Family Scheme and be part of our big HomeTeamNS family today!

Until then, perk your ears on the latest announcements on HomeTeamNS’ official Facebook Page or website.