News at GESS

Inspiring Through Sports
Posted 11/06/2018 11:06AM


"Inspiring Through Sports"

pdf - July 2018


Set against the green backdrop of Dairy Farm Road, a new football academy at the soon-to-open GESS campus will bring the beautiful game to a beautiful setting. We talk to founder ULLI NIEDERMEYER about the Borussia Academy Singapore and what it has to offer.

The academy is a partnership between my company, the school and the Bundesliga football club Borussia Möncheng l adb a ch, ” explains Ulli when we meet at the state-of-the-art football pitch at the new GESS campus.

With stands on one side and nothing but lush jungle greenery on the other, it’s a pretty impressive location – and some impressive credentials: Borussia Mönchengladbach is world famous for its youth department and developing its own players. It’s this grassroots approach and inclusive spirit that Ulli wants to bring to Singapore.

“Our company motto is to ‘inspire through sport’,” he says. “We need to get kids away from the phone, the iPad, the computer – get them out, having fun and dealing with everything that a sports programme brings; building character, working together, dealing with winning and losing.”

It’s not just lip service: The eldest of six children, Ulli well remembers the role his local football club played when he was growing up. “The club took care of me. It kept me on the straight and narrow, gave me training opportunities and the chance to go to overseas tournaments. I’ve never forgotten what that meant to me as a person.” With a solid career in coaching and sports development that has spanned Germany, Malaysia, Australia and, for the last 25 years, Singapore, he’s certainly turned out pretty well.

Every kind of player

The The Borussia Academy is very much an all-inclusive affair, with boys and girls from the ages of five to 18 welcome. Furthermore, it caters for all abilities and is not selective. “If you walk through that door, you arein,” says Ulli. “You might be in the second or third team, but you’ll get a chance to play and we’ll take care of you. We’re not about training stars. We are about the 99.9 percent. Everyone has a different starting point as far as talent and potential is concerned, and we’re here to develop their potential and ignite their passion.”

One thing Ulli is particularly excited about is the new girls’ league they’ll be launching on Saturdays. “This is a totally new project that I’ve been working on for the last year. Girls are not supported in football the way they should be. You do have some who play with a boys’ team, but by the time they are 11, 12 and 13, they’re almost a different species. This is something we want to develop and address.” As part of its drive to inspire girls, the academy brought over top female under-16 coach and player Laura Waehlen from Germany to help lead a summer camp earlier this year.

The academy’s official kick-off is on 11 August. As well as receiving top-class coaching, all players will have the opportunity to compete in the Unity Football League as well as other international tournaments, with overseas trips to Phuket, Bangkok and Germany all in the works.

Author: Aimee Fordos, Expat Living

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IB Curriculum

The English speaking European Section of GESS is a fully fledged International Baccalaureate World School, and one of the few in the world who are authorised to deliver the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the Middle Years Programme (MYP) and the Diploma Programme (IBDP).

Since opening in 2005, the European Section has grown rapidly to become a school with a reputation for quality education with a strong community feel. We now have over 600 students. The vast majority of our students are European passport holders, for whom GESS represents a vital connection with home. Students are thus provided with a safe, friendly and familiar environment in which they are challenged to thrive as they grow into independent and responsible global citizens.

Our academic and pastoral programmes are designed to support this demographic and ultimately to prepare our students for returning to Europe or for entry into European universities. To this end we endeavor to support mother tongue language acquisition so that our students do not lose this vital connection with their home culture. Fortunately, given the high entry requirements into European schools and colleges, this also means that our students are especially well prepared for study all over the world, particularly North America, the UK and Australia.

The Pre-School department provides education from 18 month to 6 years in either English or German. Children are placed in groups according to their age.


German Curriculum

Since the school was founded in 1971, the school has evolved into a school with two sections. As an accredited “Excellent German School Abroad”, the German Section of the German European School Singapore (GESS) offers all major German school leaving certificates. The European Section is an authorized IB World School offering education in English across all three IB programmes.

The German Section supports the students to develop their German roots. We give them wings for the linguistic demands of a globalized world through our differentiated English programme from grade 1 onwards. In secondary school some subjects are taught in English. Our students are benefitting from numerous bonding activities and have additional space to enjoy the internationality of the school.

Our Pre-School department provides education from 18 month to 6 years in either English or German. Children are placed in groups according to their age. 

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