School sports

Showing their true colours

From left: Sepak Takraw player Mohammed Alfian, sailor Bernie Chin from Raffles Institution, swimmer Quah Jing Wen, and sailor Jodie Lai each picked up Best Sportsboys or Sportsgirls awards.
From left: Sepak Takraw player Mohammed Alfian, sailor Bernie Chin from Raffles Institution, swimmer Quah Jing Wen, and sailor Jodie Lai each picked up Best Sportsboys or Sportsgirls awards.ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

Best Sportsboy & Sportsgirl recipients have represented S'pore but love the school stage

When he got the call to captain the Singapore sepak takraw team in his third Asean Schools Games (ASG) outing last month, he did not expect to have to also play the role of peacemaker among his team- mates.

But that was what Naval Base Secondary School student Mohammed Alfian had to do, when team-mates from rival schools got themselves into heated disputes during training.

"I had to earn their trust slowly by talking to them, helping to diffuse their internal fights and trying to get them to listen to me," the 17-year-old recalled.

His efforts paid off as the once-divided players buried the hatchet, and even became friends who still keep in touch.

Said Alfian: "For me to see the change in them now, it's very heartwarming."

The Secondary 5 student was among 47 students from 21 schools who earned the Best Sportsboy/ Sportsgirl award for their respective sports at the 46th Singapore Schools Sports Council (SSSC) Colours Awards presentation at CHIJ St Theresa's Convent yesterday.

"Winning this is probably the biggest achievement for me but I know I can put in more effort to go even further (in my sport)," he said.

All the Best Sportsboy and Sportsgirl recipients had represented Singapore on an international platform, in addition to competing for their schools at National School Games.

For last year's Optimist World Championships Under-15 winner Jodie Lai, the Raffles Girls' School student relishes the opportunity to represent her school as much as for Team Singapore.

The 15-year-old told The Straits Times: "Schools competition is more of a team event. We compete together, we launch together, and to win the regatta, we count the points together, so every sailor's efforts count.

"I get to sail with my closest friends, and if they do well, I'm very happy for them. When we lose, we console one another."

SEA Games bronze medallist swimmer Quah Jing Wen of Methodist Girls' School picked up the Best Sportsgirl award for swimming and also called the Schools National Championships her favourite competition.

She said: "There are so many spectators, the atmosphere is always really good and a lot of my friends are in the crowd cheering for me."

More than 8,000 student-athletes from various schools were awarded in this year's Colours Awards.

Besides the Best Sportsboys and Sportsgirls awards, 456 students from 76 schools were also awarded the SSSC Colours Award (Distinction), while 8,393 students from 144 schools were awarded the SSSC Colours Award.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 17, 2016, with the headline 'Showing their true colours'. Print Edition | Subscribe