A peek into the life of Singapore’s female athletes

We speak to 8 Team Singapore athletes for an inside look at the highs and lows of being a sportswoman.

A peek into the life of Singapore’s female athletes
A peek into the life of Singapore’s female athletes
05 Jun 2015

A peek into the life of Singapore’s female athletes

While it’s easy to see the fame and fanfare that comes with being an athlete, each moment on the track or stage amounts to a lifetime of hard work and sacrifice. As Singapore hosts its first SEA Games in 22 years, get to know the sportswomen representing us, and their pursuit for excellence in their sport. 

Janine Khoo, 18, Rider, Equestrianism
Janine Khoo, 18, Rider, Equestrianism
05 Jun 2015

Janine Khoo, 18, Rider, Equestrianism

On equestrian sport
I started when I was really young, because I really liked horses so I wanted to learn to ride. The more I rode the more I liked it. After the 2010 Youth Olympic Games, I started taking it more seriously.

On sportsmanship
Definitely winning and losing graciously. I would also say doing everything with integrity and trying to do things the right way, even though not everyone is.

Michelle Sng, 28, High Jumper, Athletics
Michelle Sng, 28, High Jumper, Athletics
05 Jun 2015

Michelle Sng, 28, High Jumper, Athletics

On idols
I do admire a few high jumpers, one of which is Kajsa Bergqvist from Sweden. She was the world champion during her time. What I really admire about her is that she’s not very tall for a high jumper. She’s only about 1.75m tall but her best is 2.06m, and that’s about 31cm above her own height. It makes me believe that even though I’m not as tall as some of the world-class jumpers, I’ll be able to make it there some day.

Micky Lin, 30, Goalkeeper/Goal Defence, Netball
Micky Lin, 30, Goalkeeper/Goal Defence, Netball
05 Jun 2015

Micky Lin, 30, Goalkeeper/Goal Defence, Netball

On sacrifice
With sports comes a lot of injuries and some of that actually took me out of work or school at some point as well.

On winning
I think winning is related to pride and especially playing with the national team, you’re not only liable (responsible?) for yourself, for your teammates, but for Singapore as well.

Samantha Teo, 25, Scrum-half/stand-off, Rugby 7s
Samantha Teo, 25, Scrum-half/stand-off, Rugby 7s
05 Jun 2015

Samantha Teo, 25, Scrum-half/stand-off, Rugby 7s

On contact sports and injury
[People have said] “Why do you play rugby, it’s a man’s sports”. You’re going to get so big and muscular. It’s not a girl’s sport. But I choose to put the negative criticism away and focus on rugby and thinking positively. There can be some little injuries like abrasions and cuts, but there can be major ones where you hit your head and get a concussion or you may tear some ligaments that require surgery. The worst thing I had was an ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) reconstruction — I tore my ACL in my right knee, so I had to go for an operation. It was a two-hour operation and it can take six months to a year to come back, but I took about nine months to come back to play the sport [again].

Toh Li Min, 26, Defender, Hockey
Toh Li Min, 26, Defender, Hockey
05 Jun 2015

Toh Li Min, 26, Defender, Hockey

On the game vs life
We have to think quickly in the game, so it helps us with problem solving. When I’m at work, I work in hockey company, we help to find solutions for issues. I do hockey equipment sales, so it helps me to communicate and sell the equipment to consumers.

Alannah Lim, 21, Power forward/centre, Basketball
Alannah Lim, 21, Power forward/centre, Basketball
05 Jun 2015

Alannah Lim, 21, Power forward/centre, Basketball

On winning
I think winning will most probably be equivalent to happiness. But I think winning is secondary. When you do your best, even if you lose, you won’t feel so bad about yourself. Although my team has won a game, if we didn’t give our A-game, we don’t feel satisfied winning. Giving your best is primary.

Cheryl Lim, 22, Fencing
Cheryl Lim, 22, Fencing
05 Jun 2015

Cheryl Lim, 22, Fencing

On sacrifice
There’s putting off my studies and not getting a job. But I feel the biggest sacrifice is time with my family and friends. I’m constantly travelling and my training schedule is really packed. I’ve been missing my dad’s birthday, family’s birthdays, events, family outings — but they’re very understanding and supportive.

Fariza Begum, 25, Goalkeeper, Floorball
Fariza Begum, 25, Goalkeeper, Floorball
05 Jun 2015

Fariza Begum, 25, Goalkeeper, Floorball

On success
Success comes in many platforms. As long as you’ve already set a goal for yourself, doesn’t matter if it’s big or small, being able to just take a step forward in achieving it, is already one small step to success.

For more on Team Singapore's female athletes, read the full SEA Games Special in ELLE's June issue, out on newsstands and Magzter now!

The story 'A peek into the life of Singapore’s female athletes' first appeared on ELLE Singapore

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