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Shiny Smears


Interview with Volunteer – Keeping Fit & Active

Daniel Nair is our member and one of the SuperSenior volunteers at Cornerstone Senior Centre (CSC). He has been helping out at the gym and organising Rummikub game competitions for the seniors for over a year now. We spoke to him to find out what keeps him active and motivated to volunteer at the centre.

Please tell us more about yourself.

Hi everyone, I’m Daniel, a retired school teacher and a happy grandpa staying at Ang Mo Kio with my wife. I enjoy reading and sports especially the field games. I also enjoy taking part in the archery, woodworking and floorball activities at CSC.

When did you join CSC?

I joined 3 years ago before the pandemic.

How did you get to know about CSC?

CSC was an interesting discovery for my wife and myself. We passed by The Barn@AMK (thrift shop) one morning after a walk at the nearby park and out of curiosity went into CSC to find out more. We were delighted to know there was a gym and senior activities conducted at the centre, so we signed up as members right away.


Why did you decide to volunteer at CSC under the SuperSenior programme?

I saw a need to help out at the centre, having been involved in school activities as a PE teacher previously. There are numerous activities planned and carried out regularly at the centre, and the CSC staff are very friendly and committed.

What do you have to do as part of the volunteer work?

I help out at the gym on 2 afternoons per week. I also organise Rummikub game competitions for the seniors.

Are there any interesting & fun moments you face as a volunteer?

There was a particular indoor activity – Rummikub that got my attention. The members were playing the game with their own different rules. We decided to organise a competition for them and by doing so, it enabled me to establish a clear set of rules for them to abide by. There was a good response and three competitions (with prizes) were held successfully. It was heart-warming to see the excitement and enthusiasm displayed by the members.


I also had great fun participating in the National Celebration of Seniors event in October last year. The CSC staff (Grace & Faith) managed to gather some seniors to take part in the games. Despite any prior practice, we managed to win the first prize at the walking football competition.


As a member and volunteer at the centre, what do you think is the obstacle that hinder the senior members to participate in some activities?

Seniors generally tend to be more reserved and apprehensive when confronted with physical or mental challenges. Once they gain confidence in themselves and see progress being made, the battle is already half won. For example, the gym at the centre may appear to be formidable to many seniors. If we can patiently guide, encourage and educate them of the benefits of exercising at the gym, they may eventually overcome the obstacle and gain confidence to exercise at the gym.

Any words of encouragement to get more people to volunteer at the senior centre?

The lean and hardworking team at CSC conducts a myriad of activities throughout the year and depend heavily on volunteers for manpower.  I hope more seniors can come forward as volunteers because volunteering is easy, fun and very rewarding.

Cornerstone Senior Centre is no ‘idle stone’ in a corner but a busy hive of bustling seniors nestled amidst greenery next to a nice park.

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Grooves is an annual online publication by Cornerstone Community Services and feature community updates and family life-related articles.

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