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Game for life: the single-minded shooter

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Shooting was part and parcel of Khatijah Surattee’s growing years.

Having a father with very traditional beliefs, it wasn’t always easy. “He tried to steer my life according to society’s expectations of a woman – a good marriage was far more important than education or career,” said Khatijah. If her father had it his way, she would never have joined the army or picked up shooting.

As it turned out, shooting helped Khatijah to curb herself and control her emotions better in life. Armed with a life goal, she soon shot competitively after stumbling upon the sport in 1968 after joining the Armed Forces. She represented the People’s Defence Force at competitions that SAF regularly held for its staff, before eventually representing Singapore in the Southeast Asian Games and the 24th Olympic Games.

Khatijah believes there is no shortcut to success. “Every night, I would focus my gaze on a target on the wall and imagine myself shooting at it. I would do so at least 10 times before I allowed myself to fall asleep. This reminded me of the values of persistence and hard work that were crucial for success – in sports or life.”

The above is an excerpt from “Game For Life”, a book that chronicles the journeys of 25 Singaporeans whose lives have been made extraordinary through sport. To read more about Khatijah among other inspiring stories of hope and achievement, get your copy of “Game for Life” for just SGD$ 20 from SSC’s Sports Library located at 230 Stadium Boulevard, Singapore 397799.

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