SINGAPORE - Getting a taste of international competition at the Women's World Floorball Championship (WFC) in Sweden last year has left Singapore defender Ong Ying Rui keen for more of such experiences.
The trip to Uppsala was an eye-opener for the 25-year-old, who felt that there was plenty to learn from playing against and watching the world's top teams.
She said: "One of the main highlights was that I was able to bond more with my teammates and get to know them better. Also, since it was my first international competition, I got to know about myself as a player."
Ong believes their experience at the competition, where they finished 14th out of 16 teams, has only made she and her teammates eager to improve ahead of their next big task - May's Asia Oceania Floorball Confederation (AOFC) Cup in Singapore.
Ahead of their AOFC campaign, the nation's floorballers received a boost on Tuesday (March 8) as the Singapore Floorball Association (SFA) announced that local accounting firm Nexia TS was extending its sponsorship of the national women's team till 2023.
In a first, the new $25,000 deal will also see Nexia TS supporting the women's Under-19 national youth squad, who will be taking part in the Women's U-19 World Floorball Championship in September.
The event was originally slated to take place in New Zealand, but has been shifted owing to Covid-19 restrictions. The new host has not been revealed.
SFA president Kenneth Ho said: "Nexia TS has always been a fantastic partner for our national women's floorball team and we are very pleased and honoured to have them extended their sponsorship for women's national youth team.
"Together we aim to create opportunities at all levels and believe in grooming the next generation of younger players. This partnership is important to both the women's team and the youth squad, for whom more support is needed."
The sponsorship renewal will see Nexia TS retain its title as the official event partner for the SFA Floorball Premier League in 2022/2023. It has been a major partner for the Singapore women's floorball team since 2017.
Over the past five years, the women's team have notched several milestones, including clinching the SEA Games title in 2019, winning the Women's AOFC in 2018, and claiming a historic 12th-place finish at the World Championship in 2019.
Henry Tan, Nexia TS' Group chief executive and chief innovation officer, said: "We are happy to be part of the Singapore women's floorball team's achievements despite challenges faced in the recent years.
"We trust that their resilience and determination to achieving their best will set a good example for the youth team. We see such positive influences as one of the ways to encourage the growth of aspiring sportswomen."