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!
Completing each other’s sentences throughout the interview, Team Singapore beach volleyball players Ong Wei Yu and Eliza Chong left little doubt that they were firm friends. The duo might not be regular partners in the competition arena, but their chemistry was nevertheless evident. After all, the national team trains together six times a week, and they exclaimed in unison: “We see each other almost every day!”
Working hard not just for personal glory, the beach volleyball players have also been seeking to increase the sport’s presence locally by competing in international competitions, with Wei Yu pairing up with Lau Ee Shan at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
Singapore’s recent hosting of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour, too, saw participation from our national team.
Going forward, Wei Yu and Eliza, will soon be channelling their efforts towards a larger objective – fulfilling their roles as Sport Singapore’s (SportSG) newest ambassadors by showing the community the importance of engaging in sport.
Speaking from personal experience, they shared how sport has brought them not just fitness and accomplishments, but also friends, fun, and lessons for life.
Eliza, a 19-year-old student, explained: “We want to encourage people to take up a wider variety of sports, including something still not very common like beach volleyball.”
“We decided to join as ambassadors because we want to promote active lifestyles and show how sport can bring people together,” 23-year-old Wei Yu, who is set to enter the workforce soon, added.
Indeed, getting to meet their beach volleyball “family” was a boon for them, and they revealed that they shared a close bond outside of training as well.
Beyond the friendships, Wei Yu and Eliza have also picked up precious lessons through their sport – something that they would like others to experience.
Eliza expressed: “I’ve had a lot of ups and downs throughout, but I learnt how to surpass them. There have also been many times that I’ve felt like giving up. But as time went by, I gained confidence. I’m quite a timid player, but volleyball has helped me to grow and find myself.”
Wei Yu’s Commonwealth Games experience might have looked like a successful debut for her sport, since qualifying was in itself an achievement, but our local star was hit hard by the quality displayed by her world-class opponents and having to perform in front of an intimidating crowd.
She confessed: “It was the worst I’ve ever played – and in front of so many people! I felt terrible. It took me an entire month to regain that confidence, building it back gradually through each training session. I kept asking myself why I still played. But I learnt from it. After playing on that stage, nothing else is as scary anymore!”
“My teammates were also there for me. I confided in Eliza, and she would crack jokes and make things better. Everyone helped me. That’s the good thing about our sport. We have the support of those around us.”
Naturally, as the two players agreed, these all served to enrich their sporting journeys, equipping them with lifelong learnings.
“All these [moments] result in experiences that you can share, stories that you can tell – and friends for life,” Wei Yu expressed.
Eliza continued: “We’ve met so many different people, we’ve learnt to deal with our own obstacles, to make decisions. We’ve carried these into our own lives outside beach volleyball too.”
And, with the SportSG ambassador initiative, the pair will now be reaching out to a wider audience, sharing all that they have gained from sport.
Follow their journeys at @ongweiyu and @elizachong on Instagram, and keep watch of myActiveSG and SG Sports TV Facebook pages, as well as @sport_singapore and @sgsportstv on Instagram, for more on all our ambassadors!