Sport Singapore welcomes its second batch of brand ambassadors! They are your everyday Singaporeans, tackling the same demands of life as you do, but SportSG's newest sport and fitness influencers also hold a strong belief that sport can inspire us to live better. Get to know them in our feature series here!
He may not be a big name in football just yet, but Anders Aplin is certainly one to watch.
Having joined J2 League leaders Matsumoto Yamaga for the rest of the 2018 season, Anders was also the captain of Singapore Premier League side Geylang International FC (GIFC), and a defender on the Singapore national football team. Most recently, one of Sport Singapore’s newest brand ambassadors.
Just a few years ago, Anders was an average university undergraduate with a burning passion for football, playing in his school team and the National Football League (NFL) for clubs such as Singapore Cricket Club, Singapore Vipers, and Singapore Recreation Club. He only signed his first professional contract with GIFC in 2016.
Reflecting on his journey thus far, he said: “Two years ago, I was fresh in the system. It was purely about working hard and trying to get into the team. That hasn’t changed, but there are a lot of added responsibilities [now].”
Anders (right) joins hands with former club captain and former SportSG ambassador Isa Halim. Photo: SportSG
Once a new player rising up the ranks, Anders knows from firsthand experience the significance of having senior players on the team to offer guidance. He recalled an instance when his former GIFC captain and fellow SportSG ambassador, Isa Halim, provided some timely advice.
“It was my first year [in GIFC]. I was training hard, going from NTU to Bedok Stadium twice a day, but I wasn’t getting any playing time. It was demoralising on game day, because you don’t see your jersey on the wall, and you know you’re not on the team that day,” Anders shared.
He revealed: “[On] one of the game days, I felt a bit down, so I went outside. Isa came out and assured me that my turn [would] come, [and that I should] just keep working hard.”
It might have seemed like simple words, but it was exactly what Anders needed to hear to keep him going.
Since becoming captain of GIFC himself, he has used that experience as a form of guidance when motivating other younger or less experienced team-mates.
“When you’re a senior player in your club, and you’ve got youngsters [on the team], you’ve got to take care of them, to show them the ropes,” Anders continued.
Now, as a SportSG ambassador, 27-year-old Anders hopes that his football journey can inspire other athletes who are also working hard to shine in their respective sports.
He added: “I would like to be more of a role model for the younger crowd [because] I’ve been there. In various stages of my life, I have wondered if I should still be pursuing football. Maybe the younger kids can relate to what I’ve been through.”
“I don’t have a hundred national caps, but I can show that you can make a career out of this. You can handle your studies and football, and if you ever find yourselves in the lower leagues, or playing social football, that’s not the end!” he said.
Anders also remarked, with a laugh: “Or if I can inspire uncles or aunties, then [that’s] fantastic!”
Anders signing his Sport Singapore ambassadorship contract, which will see him serve as an online influencer for sport. Photo: SportSG
Aside from his national team responsibilities, he is also a huge advocate of maintaining an active lifestyle, regardless of whether an individual is playing sports at a professional or amateur level.
“Sports is good - it’s good for your body, it’s enjoyment for the players, [and] it’s entertainment for the spectators,” Anders pointed out.
“I can attest to how sports can bring people together, because during time with my family, it was always about sports. Of course, at national level, you can also bring the country together to support your national team,” he noted.
Root for Anders on his journey in football and follow his experiences as a SportSG ambassador through his Instagram account (@andersalps), and stay tuned to the myActiveSG Facebook page and SportSG Instagram accounts (@sport_singapore and @sgsportstv) for more from him as well!