From cohesion programmes with NSmen and SkillFest with junior HomeTeamNS members, learn from our Business Development team how these activities promote bonding, learning, and teambuilding among the young and young at heart.
TEXT: MELODY TAN
Cohesion activities are a time for teams to come together, learn and grow – whether in a classroom, on a field or even out in a paintball arena. But have you ever wondered what goes into the planning and execution of these programmes?
We speak to Nur’Atiqah Aidah, an Executive Cohesion Accounts Specialist, and Syahmi Azmi, a Business Development and Marketing Executive. Both are part of the HomeTeamNS Business Development Team and they share a passion for ensuring that HomeTeamNS’ cohesion programmes and team-building activities are always fun, memorable and fulfilling.
LEARNING AND GROWING WITH NEW SKILLS
Ms Nur’Atiqah oversees all cohesion and non-cohesion programmes across the different HomeTeamNS clubhouses, while her colleague Mr Syahmi Azmi is responsible for SkillFest, the HomeTeamNS Signature School Holidays Programme for junior members aged six to 12 years old.
Says Ms Nur’Atiqah: “HomeTeamNS believes strongly that our forte is in our service. We believe that cohesion programmes and team-building activities provide a different environment for the participants to explore their capabilities and test their strength as a team. These activities challenge their willpower and mental strength, and can provide insights into how they are able to work and cope as a team.”
She adds that the Cohesion Team is very experienced at handling group sizes of anywhere between 50 to 200 people, with 600 participants being the highest number she has worked with, pre-pandemic. (For that, the entire HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok clubhouse had to be put into service, so that all 600 guests could participate in activities at the same time.) In addition, HomeTeamNS prides itself on being a one-stop centre for all programming-related activities and any other requirements that organisations might have, such as transportation, food and beverage catering, and even customised door gifts.
When it comes to the little ones, Mr Syahmi says that SkillFest, a popular programme, is designed to introduce and develop lifelong skills in children, such as athletics, social and emotional learning, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). As part of SkillFest, the children get to explore HomeTeamNS’ self-run facilities such as the Adventure HQ, Clip ‘n Climb and T-Play, and do fun and exciting experiments, crafts and sports.
Not to be outdone, the grown-ups can enjoy an eclectic mix of cohesion activities at HomeTeamNS ranging from indoor ones like art jamming and mixology to unusual sports, like water soccer and tchoukball. According to Ms Nur’Atiqah, all activities are developed based on the type of skills that they would like to develop and the different capabilities and ages of participants, as well as feedback from previous participants like NSmen.
“Before COVID, our NSmen would come back to us yearly based on their reservist period,” she explains. “So as a team, we always try to come up with something different and interesting to entice them.”
The activities for children are just as carefully planned. Mr Syahmi shares that programmes like SkillFest are based on important social, learning and physical skills that are meant to help grow character. “The skills developed can then be incorporated into their daily and school life,” he added.
According to Ms Nur’Atiqah, the COVID-19 pandemic was a challenging period for the Business Development Team as 95 per cent of their cohesion and non-cohesion programmes were on-site. In true HomeTeamNS spirit, the team rallied and quickly adapted, picking up new digital skills, acquiring new software and even honing their soft skills in order to deliver the reformatted programming online, via their laptops. Mr Syahmi adds that when on-site programmes were allowed again, the team then had to come up with additional COVID-19 safety initiatives on top of the existing government-recommended measures, to assure parents that their children could participate safely.
MEMORIES AND BONDING, FOR A LIFETIME
The Singapore Police Force’s Central Division (A Div) has engaged HomeTeamNS to run team-building and cohesion programmes for their PNSmen on multiple occasions. According to their feedback, not only were the customised activities very well-received by participants, the PNSmen also came away having built a strong camaraderie with each other – a successfully met objective.
“Our ultimate goal is to ensure that participants meet their objectives, safely and with maximum fun,” says Ms Nur’Atiqah. “These objectives can vary from simple ones like building bridges within a new department, to understanding how a department can function better across different management levels.”
Participants can also gain once-in-a-lifetime experiences, like when HomeTeamNS collaborated with the 3rd Div Singapore Civil Defence Force Division HQ to conduct a hands-on fire safety lesson. “Participants experienced using a fire extinguisher to put out an actual flame,” recounts Mr Syahmi. “HomeTeamNS also has a new Paintball Arena, and paintball has been incorporated into SkillFest. We devised a target shoot challenge, where participants experience shooting both static and moving targets under the close supervision of a specialist.”
Another recently-added activity is Pedal Go Kart, available at HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok. “Go Karting has always been a popular request by our clients and NSmen,” says Ms Nur’Atiqah. “So we have created a racing route over at our Adventure Centre. Instead of pedalling it alone, participants have a relay system. Once they finish the route, they have to head over and hand the Go Kart to a team member to finish the given number of rounds.”
These fun-filled activities are not just a good time for all – they are opportunities for participants to go beyond their comfort zones to challenge themselves, make new friends and develop themselves further than they thought possible. As one happy parent wrote in his feedback after a rock climbing activity in SkillFest September 2021: “My son was able to climb to heights that he had never ventured to previously. This really amazes us as our children are able to realise their own potential, which they have never explored before.”