From young, I was an avid Badminton and Table Tennis player. As parent now, I spent a lot of time and money to train my children in Table Tennis. For them to be an Olympian was not in my thoughts. It is for them if they really have the tenacity!
I believe Sports is good for their growing up to balance against the unnecessary torturous education stress in Singapore. It gives a child a different dimension strength from perseverance, discipline, never give up, focus to physical ability. Also, you will get to know many friends within the circle even when you are older. Most of the people I know who excel in sports also excel in life.
Yesterday I was watching the two matches and were so impressed by the grit and gut of these two players. They were fit and fast and full of fighting spirits. I was delighted to hear the news that both Singaporean shuttlers Loh Kean Yew and Yeo Jiamin were through to the finals of the Badminton Hylo Open. Both are unseeded and beat their opponents higher ranked than them to reach the finals.
Many people said Loh is not a Singaporean but to me, so no hoohaa… To me he definitely is, because he trained in Singapore’s Sports School since he was 13. Above all, he had shown commitment to the country serving NS and representing us.
Earlier in Table tennis 15 yo Izaac Quek and 16 yo Zhou JingYi also did Singapore proud by reaching the finals of WTT U19/17/15 finals. Izaac captured titles of U15 and U19 while Zhou losing finalists.
All the four lads are/were trained in Singapore Sports Schools (SSS). That is the only way you excel if you are good in sports. Full Time commitment and plenty of sacrifices.
I come to know a lot about SSS as I have known quite a handful of people who graduated there and also parents who have their kids in SSS. The kids there mostly stayed-in from Monday to Friday and have to be pretty independent since sec 1. Education focus is definitely not lacking there as well, as SSS had affiliation with several Polytechnics and entrance to universities are not impeded too. Personally know a few lads who were from SSS and later in Singapore universities.
Sincerely hope that Singapore with our financial resources and global connections will pour in more to groom sports talents and not just rely on parents like how Joseph Schooling’s parents have sacrificed for him in his younger days.
Compared to other wealthy nations, I feel there are still so much room Singapore can do for Singaporeans to be an Olympian.
Well done to all the Singaporeans lads and their parents!