Posts Tagged ‘Featured Personality’
This week, we also present to you our Female Athlete of the week, Kwa Huiqi, who led the team in the first match against Raffles in the Table Tennis Championship Finals.
Even though she was originally an RGS girl, Huiqi has successfully integrated into our Hwa Chong environment, and is proud to say that she is a true blue Hwa Chong paddler, and has Hwa Chong blood pulsating through her veins. We are definitely proud to have her in our big family!
Amidst her busy schedule of intensive training everyday, we are grateful to Huiqi for finding time in responding to our interview. A role model for all to follow in her footsteps, Huiqi is definitely an athlete worth noticing, for she has demonstrated her capabilities in juggling both competitive table tennis, as well as excelling in her academics. Well done Huiqi!
Besides representing Hwa Chong in table tennis competitions, Huiqi is also a national player, representing SINGAPORE in numerous competitions and has collated a whooping number of awards. Some of her more recent achievements are as follows:
National Table Tennis Championships: Women’s Singles 1st
SEA Junior Table Tennis Championships: U18 Girls’ Team Silver, Girls’ Singles Silver, Mixed Doubles Silver, Girls Doubles Bronze
Asian Junior Table Tennis Championships: U18 Girls’ Team 9th
World Junior Circuit India: Junior Girls’ Team and Doubles 3rd
Taipei International Junior Open: U18 Girls’ Team Silver, Girls Singles 5th
National Youth Top Ten Championships: U18 Singles 1st
National Interschools Individual Championships 2010: U20 Singles 1st
1. As the first player representing your team, how did you prepare yourself to face your toughest opponents, from Raffles Institution?
To be honest it required even more mental preparation than anything else cos I knew I was going to play with my old teammates from RGS and especially when the coach told me I would most probably be playing with their top player who also happened to be my best friend. Even though I’d played with her numerous times in local and overseas tournaments but this time I was really edgy! So I went back and watched a few videos of our past matches for preparation.
2. It was amazing watching you play and winning the points with your awesome skills and tactics! How did you read your opponent’s game and is there some sort of a “mantra” that you follow when playing against different opponents each time?
Haha thank you! I guess I know my opponent’s style of playing really well since I see her at training almost everyday and we train together. And in fact, she was my doubles partner at the SEA championships so we kinda know each other very well! I think for me, it takes the first game to find out where my opponent’s weakness is and for subsequent games just pit my strengths at those weaknesses. Haha I don’t, but I do have a habit of tying my right shoe lace then my left before a match for good luck.
3. Just to find out more about you, how long have you been playing table tennis and do you intend to continue with the sport after graduating from Hwa Chong? Why table tennis as your CCA?
I have been playing table tennis for ten years and I do wish to turn fully professional (HCunite shouts WOW!!!) after A levels. I was waiting for my elder sister’s training to end when her coach saw me picking ping pong balls really quickly and he thought I had potential so he told my mum to enrol me in!
4. Did you meet any setbacks during your years of training? (Physical, mental, etc) How did you overcome these stumbling blocks?
My biggest setback would be the lack of sleep and leisure time over the years cos I train almost everyday and I don’t get to go home until 10pm. And I’ve been sticking to this routine for a few years now so its kind of sad when I can’t go out with my friends and I have to try really hard to stay awake in class. In fact, I even missed my friend’s huangcheng debut this year cos I had training! But I guess these sacrifices are all worth it when you see the smile on the coaches and when you’ve done the country proud.
5. Do tell us more about your teammates and express anything you’d like to them! (:
I have a really funny group of JC2 teammates back at HCTT whom I am very thankful for cos without them Hwachong would have been so alien to me. Especially the J2 girls, Caipok, Yun and the fun-sized Chunkai for those great great memories! It has really been an honour to play with them, for them, and together with them.
6. Any advice you’d like to give to aspiring table tennis players?
Enjoy the game and hard work definitely pays off! (:
This week, we caught up with outstanding male athlete Leong Yunhao, captain of the Table Tennis Team, to find out more about his table tennis adventures throughout his years!
Those who were present at the Table Tennis Finals where Hwa Chong pitted their skills against Raffles could not forget the heartwrenching memory of the exciting match of Yunhao versus his Raffles opponent, with every point being so hard-earned, and the fighter spirit that Yunhao, as a captain, demonstrated not only as a role model to his team, but as an example to all who were present there too. So even though the last deciding match went to Raffles, Yunhao remains a hero of our school, and it’ll be hard to forget in a long time to come!
Having played table tennis for quite a couple of years, Yunhao has managed to accumulate many medals and trophies in his house. In recent years, some of the awards he received were:
2009 National Interschools A Div Table Tennis Championship (Individual) Boys Under 17 — 2nd position
2010 National Interschools A Div Table Tennis Championship (Individual) Boys Under 20 — 2nd position
2009 Asean Schools Games (Table Tennis Men’s Team) – First position
2009 Asean Schools Games (Table Tennis Men’s Doubles) – Third position
1. Everyone who witnessed the deciding match that day had their hearts in their mouths as they watched the match point-by-point. How did you maintain your composure and what were the thoughts in your mind as you played?
I wasn’t really thinking much about being composed at that point of time. All I could think of was winning the next point! But it’s quite funny to see what your opponent is doing under the same stress; everyone just shrinks and plays as defensively as they can haha! I guess it also helps when you’ve been through 8 years of nasty coaches placing you at the end of matches.
2. We heard that your siblings play table tennis too. Is your family the main reason why you are so passionate for the sport, and what keeps your passion burning? Any advice you’d like to give to fellow athletes out there?
Nope haha! My elder brother played squash and softball for HC; I was the first to pick up the sport, followed by my younger brother. I don’t even remember what got me started actually, but I guess what kept me going were my peer opponents. It was ridiculous how much they would improve every time I met them in a match, and that really gave me the motivation to train harder and best their new standard. Okay but in short I think I was passionate about it because I enjoyed it. To my fellow athletes, just go out there and enjoy your game!
3. As captain of the team, you have to possess good leadership skills and lead your team against other schools. How do you get your team to work together and prep them for their games?
Working together wasn’t much of a problem for us; most of us have been playing with each other for at least half a decade! Everyone in the team had the common desire to win. I guess all I had to do was to make sure they were motivated all the way. Like by saying ridiculously optimistic things at every single opportunity heh!
4. Even though Hwa Chong lost to Raffles, you were hailed as our hero for displaying such fantastic fighting spirit, refusing to give up all the way to the last point. Your teammates also gave their all in every match played. Can you take this opportunity to say a few workds to the school, as well as the brothers who played alongside you?
I would like to thank everybody who came down to support us during the finals! I think our team really felt that your cheering beat RJ’s cheering hands down! We didn’t manage to win in the end, but we will. Sooner rather than later. Shoutout to my classmates for staying back to support me and my 4e brothers for giving me moral support .
As for my teammates, you guys are the biggest baddest badasses (thats a 7th degree badass! ) I’ve ever played with! I’ll never give up any one of you even if it means winning!
5. Last but not least, any prediction you’d like to make for Hwa Chong’s sporting scene in the next couple of years? (:
We’re gonna win 82372098390217590217389216389216381263821328768412 championships! Seriously though, continue fighting HC, we’ll only get bigger and better.
Next year, the paddlers will definitely be back, with the desire burning stronger than ever.
The CCA PROs are proud to announce that the 3rd week of April has yielded results that are deserving of allowing this particular week to have two featured athletes, instead of just one (Jeevan). Thus, we present to you: YONG YI XIANG (10S79) of Wushu!
This year at the Nationals, Yi Xiang was a symbol of prowess and valour, bagging multiple gold medals which contributed immensely to the overall team score, and playing a crucial role in defending the championship title.
Yi Xiang’s achievements in this year’s Wushu Nationals include:
Gold in 2nd International Broadsword Routine
Gold in 2nd International Cudgel Routine
Gold in 2nd International Changquan Routine
Prior to entering his first year as a J1, Y Xiang had participated actively in external competitions; one such outing earned him a prestigious Gold in 1st International Cudgel Routine in the 2nd World Junior Wushu Championships held in Bali in 2008.
In 2009, Yi Xiang was also named Singapore SportsBoy of the Year, bringing honour to both his family and school.
HCunite interviewed Yi Xiang to find out more about his journey as an athlete.
1) Anyone watching your showcases at the Nationals or during training would undoubtedly brand you as a cut above the rest. When did you first start practicing, and how has Wushu made an impact on your life up until now?
Thanks for the compliment! I entered competitive Wushu at the age of 12 and have been training since then till now. I believe that Wushu has shaped me into the person that I am today, providing me with experiences and exposure that nothing else could have. The impacts range from teaching me the importance of respect to learning how to pick myself up after every failure to interacting with athletes from other countries, all of which I believe has made positive influences on my life.
2) Winning your medals during the Nationals this year was an amazing feat! How do you feel about your achievements?
Happy! This year’s achievements were the best for me as an individual and also for HC WUSHU as a whole. I am glad that I am able to contribute to our hard-fought victory at this year’s National Interschool Wushu Championships.
3) Preparation of the mind can make the difference on the mat. Physical training aside, how do you prepare yourself mentally for trainings and competitions?
Prior to trainings and competitions, I usually watch videos of professional China athletes to motivate myself and I also use positive visual imagery where I try to picture myself doing a perfect routine with no mistakes in order to build up my own confidence. I will still get very nervous during competitions but once I am on the mat, I will just do the best I can and showcase my own abilities.
4) For any athlete, setbacks are part and parcel of his/her journey. Have you faced any interesting challenges and how did you overcome them?
For me, I think I am very injury-prone. Before every competition, I tend to get injured and they always affect my performance during competition. It’s like a trend for me. The worst injury for me was last year where I injured my ankle 2 weeks prior to an international competition and had to withdraw totally from the competition. I think all these injuries are setbacks that constantly slow my progress in Wushu and it’s irritating because I can do nothing about them. I can only remind myself to stay alert during trainings to minimize the occurrence of accidents.
5) Martial arts can easily entertain the crowd, but to the practitioner, it speaks of a constant drive to upgrade oneself. Where do you see yourself and HC Wushu a few years from now? Do you hope to venture into other forms of martial arts?
Wushu is definitely a sport where you need to constantly improve yourself in order to maintain the competitive edge. I do hope that in a few years from now, I will still be a national athlete representing Singapore for international competitions and hopefully attaining medals and recognition for Singapore’s Wushu arena, although it is kind of far-fetched. In a few years time, I believe that HC Wushu will continue to progress and improve and continuously out-rival VJC to maintain our championship title! I doubt I will venture into other forms of martial arts for now, but I may consider in future when I retire from competitive wushu.
6) Any shout-out to your present and previous teammates and fellow HC athletes?
To HCWUSHU’10, you guys are the best! Together we managed to make history where both the guys and girls division achieved their best result ever! Thanks a lot to all of you and seriously, HCWUSHU’10 rocks TTM! =D
To all other athletes, jiayou for all your upcoming competitions! Good luck, do your best, have no regrets and truly, all of us are champions! =D ALL THE BEST TO ALL CCAS IN THEIR COMPETITIONS!
7) What has been the biggest factor that has influenced and helped you in journey as an HC athlete?
The biggest factor is definitely the support of my teammates! Taking this chance, I would like to apologize to them for not being around most of the time, but in spite of this, they are still very supportive of me. For this, I am truly grateful to all my teammates in HCWUSHU’10, both guys and girls! One person could never have achieved the result we achieved this year! We won this together as a team =D
Keep up the top-class form and performance, Yi Xiang! You may very well have influenced and inspired many other athletes through your achievements and sheer charisma. With this being the start of Yi Xiang’s stinct in the college section, we can expect so much more from him over the course of these two years. Lastly, congratulations to Wushu for achieving such commendable results this year! Well done!
That’s it! Stay tuned for the next featured athlete(s) of the week!
Hey HC, last week, we found out more about Mervyn from Canoe. This week, we present to you, your featured athlete for the 3rd week of April (12th – 18th): JEEVANEESH S/O SOUNDARARAJAH (10S60) !
HCunite caught up with this up-and-coming J1 who has exploded onto the track and cross country scene in fine style this year.
In the 51st Interschool Track & Field Championships 2010, Jeevan emerged champion in the 1500m event, and 2nd runner-up in the 800m event.
In the 1500m event, Jeevan managed to stave off his competitors and maintain a steady pace throughout the race to clinch the gold medal. You may find a full report on RedSports.
Jeevan also did HC proud on the 24th of March, during the 51st National Inter-School Cross-Country Championships, where he finished strongly in 2nd position in the A’ Division Boys with a timing of 15:35.57, coming in only behind Lim Zhi Ming of Raffles Institution. Read more on the Cross Country Nationals HERE!
1) Where were you before Hwa Chong? Give us a brief rundown on your journey as an athlete!
I was from Kuo Chuan Presbyterian Secondary School.
I started participating at Nationals when I was secondary 2. I didn’t really do well for both cross country and track & field (1500m & 3000m) that year. At secondary 3, I did the same events and the best result I achieved was 8th position in 1500m, I think. At secondary four, I improved tremendously as I attained 6th position in the cross country. Not only that, I also managed to grab a 2nd and 5th position in 1500m and 3000m respectively. During June that year, I also managed to beat the Nationals’ champion in 1500m at the Singapore Juniors Athletics Championships.
2) The two medals and the 2nd placing you earned for both of your Nationals are impressive! How do you feel about your achievements?
I feel extremely happy as I trained hard for it, especially for the Cross Country and being a champion at J1 for 1500m was a joy for me too.
3) There’s definitely more to training than raw output. Physical training aside, how do you prepare yourself mentally for competitions?
My coach advices us to watch inspirational videos. One of them will be definitely ROCKY. Before any competition, I will also mentally picture the race I’m going to run in my head from start to finish and will always think of the positives.
4) Were they any major setbacks you faced thus far? Like injuries for example? How did you make the comeback?
I didn’t face any major setbacks yet so far. However, there was a time during december holidays where I felt sick during training. I had to rest for one week because I had fever and flu. When I recovered , my time for 5km time trial deproved from 18:20 to 19:20; by one minute. I was quite irritated because it distrupted my training patterns. However, I decided to train harder for the next time trial. The following week, I did a 18:20 again. To my suprise, I improved again for the next one, doing a 17:10. The last one I did was a personal best of 16:30.
5) How do you feel about Hwa Chong as a school and family?
I feel great about Hwa Chong as a school and family. The HWA CHONG SPIRIT is breath-taking, especially during the competition season. The support everyone gives especially the councillors really touches the hearts of the atheletes out there competing for the school’s glory. I am grateful for this support.
6) This is the part where you give advice! Any shout-out to your present and previous teammates and fellow HC athletes?
Always give your very BEST, no matter what the circumstances are. I hope my achievements will spur others to do their BEST in everything they do. ALL THE BEST to the rest of the HC Sports CCAs with their upcoming fixtures of the NATIONALS. Hope you’ll make Hwa Chong proud!
With 2009 being only his first year in Hwa Chong, we can await great things from Jeevan in these two years. Jeevan hopes to attain a hat-trick of gold medals (or even more) for next year’s schools nationals in both the Track and Cross Country Championships combined. Let’s wish him and HC all the best!
Hey HC, your featured athlete for the 2nd week of April (4th – 10th) is MERVYN TOH YINGJIE (09S63) !
Your CCA PROs interviewed Mervyn after the conclusion of the Canoeing Nationals on the 9th of April to gain more insights on his contributions to the team’s golden harvest this year and his journey as a canoeist over his last 5 years in Hwa Chong.
This year, Mervyn overcame all odds and produced a string of awe-inspiring results as a consistent K1 paddler.
He came in 1st for all the following events of the various competitions held this year:
17th Jan: Singapore Canoe Marathon – K1 Junior Men
27th & 28th March: MR 500 - K1 500m
13th & 14th of March: National Junior Canoeing Championship - K1 1000m & K1 500m
9th of April: Canoeing Nationals Finals - K1 1000m & K1 500m
Here goes the questions!
1) The two gold medals you earned for your Nationals definitely did not come without sacrifice. How do you feel about your achievements?
I’m very grateful to my teachers, coaches, seniors, teammates and juniors who have supported me. Winning those two events has been a goal of mine since 2008 and I’m glad I could contribute to the team.
2) The canoeing team’s efforts leading up to this season are undeniably immense. Physical training aside, how do you prepare yourself mentally for competitions?
Competitions can be pretty frightening. I try to get myself excited by watching races of other sporting videos. Participating in a competition is much more enjoyable when you’re excited and not intimidated.
3) Your grades never fail to cause jaw-dropping effects. Tell us more about how you balance your academic commitments and your canoeing activities!
I make it a point to pay attention during lectures and tutorials and do my homework. I find that doing so saves time spent on revising, so I can get through the tests and assignments by studying one or two days before. Of course, staying awake can sometimes be an uphill task (CT sessions…).
4) No pain, no gain. Were they any major setbacks you faced thus far? Like injuries for example? How did you make the comeback?
I contemplated changing CCAs at the end of Secondary 4 because I thought my time could be better spent elsewhere. But quitting didn’t feel right. I came back quickly because I had to fulfill my commitment to the Canoeing team after signing up in Secondary 1. Many people change CCAs when they get to JC, and I hope more will continue with their original CCAs to strengthen our Hwa Chong teams.
6) To many people their CCA mates mean the world to them. Any shout-out to your teammates and fellow HC athletes?
My teammates are a cool bunch of people (mostly). One runs very fast, one is crazy, one is extremely dark-skinned, one is elite, one has an endless supply of food; among the rest there are different people who look like a hamster, a peach, a dinosaur, Mickey Mouse and an earthworm. But they’re still great.
Mr Wee Pui Seng, 24, who is currently studying at Singapore Management University, is remembered by the Judo Team and many others as a dedicated Hwa Chongian who frequently returns to the Hwa Chong campus to help out at trainings as a senior even after his graduation from HC 6 years ago.
Over the years, Pui Seng has established himself as a prominent figure in the local judo scene with a monumental competitive record, participating in numerous overseas competitions in Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, and the prestigious SEA Games.
Pui Seng performing a back throw, specifically Uranage.
Photo from sajudo.com
Recently, at the 13th Commonwealth Judo Championships held here in Suntec City, Pui Seng clinched the gold medal in the under-100kg category after beating all his opponents. He was then featured on Channel 5!
Here are the links to a local documentary, 说再见, (3-parts) featuring Mr Wee and his retirement from competitive judo!
Rock on, Pui Seng! We hope to see more of you in the local judo scene in the future!
After the Judo Finals finale in Hougang Sec, HCunite caught up with Chua Kai Jian of 08S6D in an interview to find out more about our worthy athlete and his team.
With a first degree black belt (1st Dan or shodan), Kai Jian has won various awards such as the West Zone Colours Award and National Colours Award. He is an active participant in numerous tournaments, including the recent National Schools Judo Championships, in which he fought alongside his teammates, eventually obtaining the 1st-runners-up position. Kai Jian emerged as Champion in the individual event for last year’s (2008) Championships, and also clinched a silver medal in this year’s individual event.
Kai Jian repesented Hwa Chong in competitions such as the Singapore Kyu Grade Judo Championship and the Singapore Age Group Judo Championship last year, and it was no easy feat that he managed to sweep the title of Champion in both competitions.
Kai Jian has also gone regional before, participating in overseas tournaments such as the 2008 Jikji Cup International Junior Judo Tournament held in Cheongju, Korea and the 14th World Junior Judo Championships 2008 in Bangkok, Thailand.
With his impressive record, and his previous role as the Judo Captain, he has thus been spotted as our Athlete of the Month!
You may want to catch Kai Jian in action during the recent Judo Finals!
1) When and how did your passion for Judo begin? Do you have someone or something as your inspiration or idol?
My seniors in sec 4, J1 and J2 were the ones who inspired me the most when I first took up the sport in sec 1. Their passion and love for the sport, commitment and prowess were what had inspired me to be like them. This was what drove me to train hard and strive to catch up to their standard, in terms of both skill and strength.
2) Judo trainings look intense but enjoyable! Physical training aside, how do you prepare yourself and the Judo team mentally for competitions?Looks can be deceiving… but if you like pain then judo trainings would definitely be enjoyable for you. Well, I feel that good training is what really gets us prepared for competitions. Hence, training hard is important. Other than that, team spirit and knowledge that we’re wearing the school badge also drives us to do our best.
3) You know what they say, JC life really makes you yearn for more time… Tell us more about how you balance your academic commitments and your pursuits in Judo!
Try to manage your time well and catch up with your school work as much as possible. Travelling time can be put to great use, either for reading some notes or catching a power nap.
4) No pain, no gain. Were they any major setbacks you faced thus far? Like injuries for example? How did you make the comeback?
I have been rather lucky for the past six years in the sense that I haven’t gotten any major injuries that have put me out of action for too long. The worst I got was a twisted knee, but I was able to resume training after a week. Injuries had allowed me to pick up new throws, so sometimes it is a blessing in disguise.
5) Do you practice any other martial arts? Or sports?
I play soccer with my team mates sometimes after trainings.
6) You must have many fond memories of HC Judo throughout all these years. Any shout-out to your fellow athletes and Hwachongians?
Relish the opportunities that you get to do something for the school. Continue to train hard, train smart and cherish the times you spend with your team. These are what make your journey in Hwa Chong a joy to remember. And remember, the school name is yours to defend. (Break the stranglehold that ***f*** has in the sports fraternity. Show them that Hwa Chong can do damage to their title challenges.)
7) Describe your beloved Judo-mates in one sentence!
You are the best team I can have.
HCunite interviewed Liza Ng, the vice captain of the Track & Field Team, to find out more about the story behind her 1st placing in the High Jump event and 6th placing in Long Jump event, as well as the commitment and dedication of her Track team.
1) How did your interest in track & field begin? What ignited your
passion for it?
My reasons for joining Track & Field in Sec 1 were quite boring and
uninspiring. I actually went into it quite clueless about what it
involved, and it was only until much later that I began to enjoy what
I was doing. High jump has been my main event all along, but I also
trained for long jump this year as we were short of long jumpers.
2) How do you prepare for your competitions?
Trainings aside, I sleep more and avoid worrying excessively about the
competition. The longer you think, the less you know what to do.
3) Your results- Gold Medal for High Jump and 6th Placing for Long
Jump- is indeed commendable! How do you balance your academic
commitments, and pursuit for excellence in track?
Thank you! However, there are many athletes whose efforts go unnoticed
because they do not outperform others during competitions. Their
commitment is equally, if not more, deserving of
featured-athlete-of-the-week acknowledgment. What meant more to me
than winning the medal or finishing in 6th position was breaking my
personal bests in both events. It would not have been enough to beat
other competitors if I weren’t able to first beat myself.
I won’t claim to balance schoolwork and training as I tend to focus
more on one over the other depending on which happens to be of higher
priority at that moment. The rest of the time, I stay sane with a
little help from my friends and teammates.
4) I’m sure your journey thus far must have been a tough one. Were
there any downturns you faced at any point? If so, how did you
I wouldn’t really describe my journey thus far as tough, but when I
started out, I was quite demoralised because I was frankly quite
hopeless at high jump—my teammates can testify to that! However, I
have been quite lucky to train under two coaches whom I cannot thank
enough: Mr Pedro, who believed in me when I didn’t, and subsequently,
Mr David Woon, who made me believe in myself. Without them and my
teammates, my journey would have taken a very different route.
5) Any words to aspiring athletes out there or to your track & field
teammates and juniors?
Be very patient; in the meantime, don’t doubt yourself. Train hard so
that there won’t be anything to regret at the end. And make sure you
enjoy what you are doing! That is most important.
Name: Yap Ching Poh aka. Ah Bao
School: HWA CHONG INSTITUTION
In the match against ACJC, he led all scorers with 15 points, guiding his team to a whooping 87-10 victory.
Against NJC, he was a constant thorn in NJ’s side and finished the game with an impressive 20 points and 6 rebounds.
Ah Bao, with his sterling performances on court, will no doubt be one of the key players propelling his team towards their 4th straight Championships this season.