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Canoeist-next-door Stephenie Chen

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Our Sporting Hero. My Neighbour. Stephenie Chen.

Stephenie Chen only picked up canoeing six years ago when she tried out the sport in JC and found it fun. The second youngest of six siblings, her elder sisters were in the national team and they influenced her to pick it up.

Living in the far west of Singapore also means long commutes for Stephenie as she balances her time between training and school. She admits that it does get tiring at times, but she has gotten used to the traveling and uses the time to relax or catch a nap.

While chatting with Stephenie, she strikes us as the shy girl next door who really loves canoeing and when she’s not out training, she winds down by catching a good movie.

Chatting with Stephenie Chen

Q: Where do you live?

A: I’ve been living in Boon Lay since I was in primary school – so technically about more than twelve years.

Q: After living here for so many years, what do you like most about Boon Lay?

A: The good thing about Boon Lay is that the flats here are bigger and more spacious so even though our family is big, I have quite a lot of space for myself.

Q: Is there anything you dislike about your neighbourhood?

A: Well Boon Lay is at the far end of Singapore – so getting anywhere requires a long commute.

Q: What’s special about your neighbourhood that others usually don’t know about?

A: I don’t think there are any hidden gems in my neighbourhood; but I know everyone definitely knows about Boon Lay Power Nasi Lemak. You should try it!

Q: How would you promote your neighbourhood to competing athletes from other countries?

A: The Lakeside / Chinese Garden area is actually really nice so I guess I would promote that? It’s a nice tranquil area near my neighbourhood which I stumbled across not too long ago when I was running.

Q: How would you like your community to remember you?

A: I hope they remember me as a friendly person. Sometimes there are athletes who do well and become more famous, and they let their results get to their head. I want to be known as someone who is friendly and open to others, whether or not I achieve good results in the sport.

Q: What is your one food based guilty-pleasure?

A: I don’t really have any because we’re allowed to eat anything we want! We don’t have dietary restrictions so I guess there’s no guilt in eating whatever we want?

Q: If you could have a superpower, what would you choose?

A: I want to be like Superman – he’s the best superhero because he can fly, and he can heal himself. That’s really all you need!

Q: What is your idea of fun?

A: I really, really, really like watching movies. I watch all genres, and my ideal day would be one that is spent curled up in bed watching movies.

Q: How did you pick up canoeing?

A: My youngest sister was the one who introduced me to canoeing actually. I used to be in the track and field team in secondary school but I wanted to try something new when I went to Junior College. My sister urged me on to try canoeing and I’ve been doing the sport ever since!

Q: If not for canoeing, what sport do you think you’d be playing?

A: Well I used to be in track and field, but I got bored of running. I never thought of doing any other sport apart from canoeing.

Q: Do you have any pre-game rituals before a major sporting event?

A: Not really – I just warm up, get in the zone, and do my best. I try to block everything out so nothing else really matters except my match.

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