The Singapore National Games (SNG) 2014 aims to provide a competitive platform for young sporting talents to step forward to compete, and also gives them a chance to further their development as an athlete in their respective sports.
Lim Dao Yi, Shawn Ang and Zennieve Tan are young athletes in the Singapore Table Tennis Association’s (STTA) Youth Developmental Squad, a strong and structured youth development programme used to groom athletes into world-class competitors.
These young athletes go through a rigorous selection process and trials. Once they are selected, they train up to at least four times a week. Only the top few will be given the opportunity to represent Singapore with their counterparts from the Singapore Sports School.
On top of regular training, these players pit their skills against fellow squad members in various tournaments every month including the SNG.
Their growth as budding table tennis players will not be possible without support from their parents, who tirelessly send them to and fro between home, school and training.
Together with her mother, Tan has been coming to the competition early to watch ongoing matches; at the same time eyeing her potential opponents, and breaking down their playing style in her mind.
“Before competitions, my parents usually tell me to enjoy the game. Even when I lose, they encourage me to do better next time,” shared Tan.
“My biggest supporter is my father. Whenever he turns up, I feel encouraged and want to do better.”
Tan trains seven days a week and even does her school homework while during rest times between training.
Her hard work and determination are paying off as she has been invited to take part in the Girls Under-9 category at the prestigious 19th Char Yong Cup National Youth Top 10 at the end of this month. Only youth players who have achieved the highest ranking points through STTA’s local tournaments throughout the year are invited to take part.
The finals for the Girls Under-12 will be played this Sunday, 9 November from 9:00am to 11:00am, including the Boys Under-12, Men’s & Women’s Singles, Boys & Girls Under-18 and Men’s Singles Masters at the OCBC Arena, Hall 2, Singapore Sports Hub.