File photo credit: Cheah Cheng Poh/SSC
By Yeo Han Hwee
So you’ve taken up netball, you're extremely passionate about the game, dream of playing in the big leagues and representing Singapore. But what is it like to play at the highest level? What kind of commitments do you have to make? What does it take?
In this feature, three players from the Cheers Netball Super League (and national players) share their insights about the game, their lives, and their experiences with us.
1. Chen Huifen (GA/GS, Blaze Dolphins)
Chen Huifen is the Goal Attack/Goal Shooter for the Blaze Dolphins, and a PE teacher by day. In fact, her sister Chen Huiyan was a Goal Shooter for the national team, although she retired from active competition after the World Netball Championships in 2011.
She has played netball since her primary school days, but first got into the game completely by accident: “I was scouted by the basketball teacher in charge, but I mistakenly went for netball training instead.”
Besides her athletic ability, she is also a person who has true competitive spirit within her. “Every time we train (netball) together, we go for all the loose balls and we go for every point that is possible. Netball in Singapore… is really competitive and I like being challenged.”
2. Shelby Koh (WA, M1 Sunfish)
Shelby Koh plays the Wing Attack/Centre positions for M1 Sunfish. She has represented Singapore at several international events, including leading the Singapore team at the World Youth Netball Championships 2013 held in Glasgow, Scotland.
With Shelby, she also got involved in the game at a very young age and fell in love with it. “I started playing when I was 5 years old. I enjoy being part of a team, the physical challenge and the opportunities that come with it,” says Shelby.
When netball season is on, discipline and commitment is the order of the day. It is definitely serious business. “We have strength training twice a week; we have court training twice a week, and we have pure fitness training twice a week. Other than that, we have self directed training.” What is her advice for young netballers who want to play on the teams?
“It doesn’t matter if you don’t get in to the team. Keep trying and if you try hard enough, it will show! Make sure you have fun when you play!”
3. Lin Qingyi (GK/GD, Blaze Dolphins)
Lin Qingyi is the GoalKeeper/Goal Defence for the Blaze Dolphins. Nicknamed “Micky” affectionately by all, she also got into the game at a young age. An interclass game of Captain’s Ball caused her to pick netball as an extracurricular activity. One thing led to another and she is now Captain of the national team!
Micky enjoys the mental aspect of the game. “The thing with netball is that there is a mixture of strategy and gameplay. I find it interesting and it gets a little unpredictable at times.”
Netball has also helped her off the netball court. “As important as it is with academics and other aspects of life, placing a certain emphasis on sports related activities should not be neglected as well. For me, I wouldn’t be achieving such balance in the other parts of my life if not for netball. You train up your discipline and hard work when you do sports.”
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