Get a move on – it’s the best way to manage stress, anxiety

Former shuttler Daphne Ng admits the various lockdowns enforced in Malaysia since March last year have left many, especially young children, unhappy and stressed.

While the government has started relaxing regulations under the National Recovery Plan, most sports venues remained shut, and it is unclear when they would be fully open.

Ng, who coaches badminton, said many of her students can’t wait to hit the courts.

“The children look forward to meeting their friends, and returning to their usual routine. Right now, they are all engaged virtually,” said Ng.

“We provide online classes; each session is about an hour. These are home workouts that include physical, agility and strength training.

“Being online also allows us to focus more on the tactical and technical aspects of badminton.”

Ng said, in the early days, some students were shy to switch on their cameras and actively participate.

“But that’s no longer the case. They are more active now and ask plenty of questions. That’s good.”

Some parents remained unconvinced that badminton, or sports, can be taught remotely.

Ng said nothing beats physical interaction but added that it was important for people to cope with the new norms in this pandemic era.

“The children’s daily routines have gone haywire, to be honest. They used to have a disciplined routine, but some parents had complained, saying that the routine had been disrupted due to them staying indoors.

“Others are getting too much screen time. There’s online learning for school, followed by more screen time for extracurricular activities, and when they start playing games.

“It can be tiring staring at the screen for long hours, and it’s stressful as well. So, we make sure there’s plenty of movement to get them going.”

Ng said the same can be said about university students, too.

“I attended a webinar involving university students recently, and realised that based on their feedback, they seemed to be a group that had been overlooked, or left out, in this pandemic.

“First-year students have not even seen their campus. As we all know, universities are places for people to connect.”

In a bid to get them together, Ng and her team at Wynn Sports Management are organising the Skechers Inter-Uni Team Run. The virtual run, for university students, will be held between Sept 10 and 30. Registration is open from now till Sept 20.

“The aim is to get them (varsity students) together. The best way to manage stress and anxiety is through movement.

“Organising such an event will motivate people to move. Taking part in a group activity, although remotely, will also encourage people to move. It basically takes a whole community to move.

“We hope this run will spread more awareness about the need for people to continue exercising, especially during these trying times,” she added.

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