Age no barrier for youngest and oldest Workforce Singapore opponents at SEA Video games

By | August 12, 2017

SINGAPORE: On most times, Radiance Koh is a usual busy Secondary A person pupil, and Chia Tee Chiak is a laidback retiree. But occur Aug 19, each of them will be heading to Malaysia to compete in the twenty ninth Southeast Asian Video games as the youngest and oldest Workforce Singapore athletes.

The Video games will be one particular for the guides for the thirteen-12 months-old sailor and the 68-12 months-old garden bowler, who will compete at the occasion for the initial and previous time, respectively.

Radiance has been sailing because she was 8, when she picked it up as a Co-Curricular Action in primary college. She experienced for the national coaching squad just two yrs afterwards. She cites “learning, relearning, and unlearning” as one particular of her essential methods for success.

“When you pick up a new skill, you are going to test it on the h2o and see no matter whether this new skill operates. If it does not get the job done, you can depart it apart and consider up yet another new skill and test all over again,” she elaborated.

Radiance Koh will be creating her debut in the Optimist class at the twenty ninth SEA Video games this August. (Picture: Nicole Lim)

Whilst this will be Radiance’s initial visual appearance at a key video games, she is no stranger to battling it out on the sea. She has persistently ranked between the prime in nearby and overseas regattas in the Optimist class, together with rising winner at the 2016 Changi Sailing Club Gold Fleet Championship, and coming in third spot at the 2017 KFC Langkawi Global Regatta.

To qualify for the SEA Video games, Radiance initial experienced to finish as one particular of the prime 10 ladies in 3 nearby regattas. They then experienced to compete in yet another demo, and Radiance, who emerged initial, was picked to symbolize Singapore in the Video games. She hopes to get at least a medal this August.


In the meantime, this is Tee Chiak’s third time competing in the SEA Video games. The beforehand ranked earth amount 11 picked up garden bowling twenty yrs in the past “not by choice, but by coincidence”, just after currently being launched to it at a enterprise sporting activities occasion.

Even so, his knack for the game was clear right from the get started, when he bagged the prime trophy in that occasion.

Tee Chiak, who is also an avid golfer, characteristics some of his skill to his placing prowess, which allows him to estimate the volume of pounds he requires to utilize when bowling in get to hit the focus on.

Regardless of their varying levels of experience, each Radiance and Tee Chiak agreed that finding the chance to symbolize Singapore at this year’s Video games was anything that they did not anticipate.

Whilst Radiance reported she “didn’t know what to expect at first”, she reported she was incredibly encouraged by her fellow sailors who gave her “all the moral assistance that she needed”.

Tee Chiak, on the other hand, reported that representing Singapore in a sport at this age is anything he experienced “never dreamt of”.

Chia Tee Chiak will go for gold in his previous garden bowling endeavor at the SEA Video games. (Picture: Nicole Lim)

He has his eyes on a gold medal, just after narrowly missing out in his previous SEA Video games 10 yrs in the past when he won silver. That experience stays one particular of his proudest reminiscences.

“It was anything that I least predicted. Malaysia is usually the strongest simply because they have the most assistance, but when I was there, I beat the amount one particular bowler from Malaysia. That was one particular of my happiest times,” he laughed as he reminisced.

He stays optimistic about executing properly this 12 months, inspite of the challenging opposition he expects to deal with. “They constantly say the ball is spherical. On that working day, if luck is with you, you can triumph over any trouble. So we constantly have a chance, surely,” he reported.


Even so, Radiance and Tee Chiak also admitted that the class of their sporting journeys does not constantly run clean.

For Radiance, the major problem she faces is balancing concerning her experiments and coaching.

In a lot of techniques, Radiance is not that diverse from other young children her age. She is a Secondary A person pupil at Nanyang Girls High Faculty, and goes for tuition 2 times a 7 days. In her free of charge time, she enjoys enjoying badminton and frisbee with her neighbours, and can take care of her animals, which include things like a canine, a guinea pig, and adhere bugs.

Even so, on prime of all that, Radiance trains 5 times a 7 days with the Optimist Nationwide A team. Her packed agenda usually usually means that she has to wolf down her lunch in the motor vehicle as her grandmother ferries her all-around from spot to spot.

Even however Radiance only started secondary college this 12 months, she has previously skipped 6 weeks of lessons due to overseas competitions and coaching. She will miss yet another two weeks for the SEA Video games. To make up for this, Radiance provides her homework together on overseas competitions, and arranges for consultations with her academics early in the morning prior to lessons start out.

Radiance’s mom, Mrs Koh Theng Theng, thinks that sailing “enhances” Radiance’s experiments. (Picture: Nicole Lim)

Radiance has a league of dedicated and “supportive” classmates and academics who preserve her in the loop through WhatsApp and electronic mail. Her mom, Mrs Koh Theng Theng, also retains in near get in touch with with her academics to guarantee that she is coping properly at college. She also enters Radiance in a variety of overseas competitions to make up her exposure. Mrs Koh, a former windsurfer herself, thinks that the mental and physical toughness constructed from sailing “enhances” Radiance’s experiments.

Radiance’s family plans also revolve all-around her coaching agenda. This usually means shorter family holidays, or from time to time, even “none at all”.

Even so, what retains Radiance soldiering on is her enjoy for the sport, which she describes as “relaxing” and a “break from school”.

When requested about her key setbacks in her sailing profession, Radiance laughed, and recounted an vital qualifier race in 2013 which would decide her spot in the national coaching squad. Ideal prior to the race, a sailor collided into her brand new boat, creating a huge hole. Her coach encouraged her not to cry, and she went on to arise winner in the race.

Her perseverance in the deal with of failure is anything she hopes will encourage other young athletes. She reported: “Even if you fall short, you can do do it all over again, you can triumph all over again.”

Back TO Operate

Tee Chiak, who is two generations more mature than Radiance, faces a fully diverse established of worries.

Whilst Radiance is usually brief of time, he has an abundance of it, as he has been retired for a lot more than 2 yrs. His only commitments are garden bowling coaching sessions which consider spot thrice a 7 days, and golfing with his “kakis” on the weekend.

Even so, this also usually means that Tee Chiak has no steady supply of revenue. Following the SEA Video games, he hopes to retire from competitive garden bowling and go again to the workforce to go on creating a dwelling.

“I’m not doing work simply because of this. It is not reasonable if I go and locate employment all over again and get the job done for two months, and consider 3 weeks off,” he reported. “Presently, I’m pretty much executing nothing, waking up anytime I want, going any where I want, but no revenue. No matter what cost savings, daily you commit, is all long gone.”

Tee Chiak also admitted that he can get lethargic when coaching sessions are held beneath the sizzling sun.

Yet another difficulty weighing on Tee Chiak’s head is the upcoming of garden bowling in Singapore. Whilst he thinks garden bowling is a sport for all ages, the majority of the bowlers in Singapore are above 50. He reported the absence of succession in the neighborhood is a trouble.

“This is not like tenpin bowling. The trouble with this game is that it’s way too mild and sluggish, so children really do not like it,” he reported. “You’ll locate that there are usually no spectators, even for our national video games.”

Even so, in spite of all these worries, each Radiance and Tee Chiak are assured that the passion for their sport will go outside of their competitive profession.

Radiance, who hopes to results in being a veterinarian in the upcoming, reported she “definitely” sees herself sailing at a leisure stage even then, though Tee Chiak reported he will go on garden bowling right until he is “not ready to walk effectively and is forced to stop”.  

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