SEA Games: Local athletes star in online videos

SINGAPORE - The Singapore Table Tennis Association (STTA) unveiled on Wednesday a series of online videos offering an insight into the lives of the its national players.

The first of five videos, to be released every Wednesday for the next five weeks until May 20, focuses on up-and-coming paddler Clarence Chew. In the eight-minute-long clip, the 19-year-old discusses the obstacles he has had to overcome in choosing a professional career in sports.

He also recounted how support from his family - his father Soo Sheng was a former national player and ex-chief executive of the STTA while his mother Chen Shuping was drafted into the China national team in 1979 at just 16 - has proved invaluable in chasing his sporting dreams.

As part of the lead up to the SEA Games in June, the STTA will also chronicle the stories of other players such as Lin Ye (April 29), Isabelle Li (May 6), Gao Ning (May 13) and Feng Tianwei (May 20).

Watch these inspiring tales here: 

The past 12 months has also seen some of Singapore's most famous sporting personalities becoming viral hits on social media. Here are some favourites.

1. Official theme song

The music video of Unbreakable, one of the three official theme songs for the June 5-16 Games, has proven to be a rousing success with more than 260,000 YouTube views since it was uploaded on April 9. It stars swimmer Joseph Schooling, bowler Jazreel Tan, silat exponent Shakir Juanda, sprinter Shanti Pereira and the men's basketball team.

2. Short film on Fandi Ahmad

Titled Ordinary, this 12-minute short film tells the story of Singapore football great Fandi Ahmad's rise from Kaki Bukit kampung boy to one of Asia's most talented footballers and among a handful to earn a European contract in the 1980s.

Directed by local film-maker Nicole Woodford, it also features cameos from his sons Irfan, 17, and Ikhsan, 15. Irfan is part of the Under-23 football squad that will be chasing a historic gold medal at the SEA Games.

3. Stirring ad

 This video might be only 90 seconds long but it has left a lasting impact with over 180,000 views. It depicts some of the negativity that surrounds local sports and urges Singaporeans to rally behind the national athletes and come together to support them.

Besides familiar faces like badminton player Derek Wong and rower Saiyidah Aisyah, it also showcases - with December's Asean Para Games in mind - para athletes like table-tennis player Jason Chee.

4. Netball fun

 
Posted by Frank by OCBC on Sunday, February 15, 2015

For those keen on some light-hearted viewing instead, this funny Chinese New Year video by OCBC - starring netballers Charmaine Soh, Micky Lin, Shelby Koh and Kimberly Lim - is worth a look.

 5. Memories of Dream Team 1994 

And for those dreaming of a trip down memory lane, this video of Singapore's 1994 Dream Team crooning away is sure to evoke plenty of sepia-toned memories. It's a good thing too that the likes of Fandi and Abbas Saad were deadly in front of goal because the entire team was pretty profligate here with their attempts to hit any musical notes.

jonwong@sph.com.sg