Minister Lawrence Wong together with Team Singapore netball team after the ladies won the 2014 Asian Netball Championship (Photo by Philip Au/Sport Singapore)
Months after successfully defending its title at the Mission Foods Asian Netball Championships earlier in September, Singapore netball team will be looking to add another accolade to their trophy cabinet: The Nations Cup 2014.
Set to be held from 7 to 13 December at the OCBC Arena, six countries including Singapore; Botswana, Ireland, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Malaysia will all be gunning for glory.
Singapore captain Lin Qingyi (Micky) shared that the team has also lowered the intensity of its training with less than a week to the tournament.
The Nations Cup also serves as a platform for them to train up for the much anticipated Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in 2015.
Captain Micky Lin making a play against Malaysian opponents at the 2014 Asian Netball Championship (Photo by Leandro Ngo/Sport Singapore)
“I feel that playing in Nations Cup is a good preparation for SEA Games because you improve when you play with strong teams.”
Even though there are fresh faces in the team, Lin was not worried at all.
“The girls have been playing and training together as a team for a while and winning the Asian Championships is a proof that the team is actually gelling well together,” Lin said.
“It has been awhile since we played these teams. Like us, they probably will have new players, so their playing style will change as well. So honestly, we have to deal with this unknown factor,” she added.
After having a taste of the vociferous crowd behind their backs when they won the Asian Netball crown three months ago, the team is eager to experience more of the same again, especially with the SEA Games 2015 coming up in June next year.
In a bid to raise support, a video, “Your Voice Changes the Game”, featuring several Team Singapore athletes from various sports was filmed.
One of the athletes featured alongside Lin was her teammate, Charmaine Soh, the hot-shot who is deadly from the line and was instrumental in Singapore’s run towards the 2014 Asian Championship title.
Shooter Charmaine Soh scoring against Malaysian opponents at the 2014 Asian Netball Championship (Photo by Gavin Lee/Sport Singapore)
“Through this video, it allows more Singaporeans to know more about what we do and how we contribute to Singapore,” Soh shared.
“It motivates us a lot when we feel their support.”
The shooter was encouraged by the feedback from her loved ones since it was released as she added: “They felt that the video interacted with the fellow Singaporeans because they are who we played for.”
Reflecting on her Asian Netball Championships experience, Soh hopes that the crowd will be back in full force once again, especially after they proved crucial in the encounter with Sri Lanka, when Singapore were left trailing in the first quarter, with Soh suffering a torrid time in front of goal.
Similarly for Lin, she felt that the tremendous support from the spectator was heartwarming and helped to raise the profile of the sport as well.
The support will be greatly appreciated this time round, with the 2013 Nation Cups’ first runner-ups facing serious competitions from higher ranked opponents. Singapore is ranked 19th globally, while in front of them are Samoa, ranked 14th, Botswana (16th) and Papua New Guinea (17th).
“We are one people, one Singapore. OneTeamSG. So we really hope more Singaporeans can come down to know more about the sport,” Soh expressed.
“Since Samoa holds the highest ranking in this Nation Cup, it would pose the biggest challenge to us but we will not give up without a fight and will definitely fight hard.
“We have met some of the teams before and we know they are very tough teams. So, we are working really hard towards giving them a tough fight.”
Nation Cups ticket will be on sales an hour before the first match of the day. Ticket prices differ for the round games and finals. Season pass are also available at $32 for adults and $16 for local students aged below 23 and senior citizens above 60.
At the same time, do remember to support our local talents when tweeting or posting a status on FaceBook with the hashtag #OneTeamSG.
Watch how Your Voice Changes The Game.