New year, new dreams: What Singapore athletes hope for in 2023

Singapore athletes Loh Kean Yew, Aloysius Yapp, Shayna Ng and Yip Pin Xiu reflect on their sporting journey in 2022. PHOTO: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS FILE

SINGAPORE – A brand new year offers the sporting world an opportunity to reset, to rededicate themselves, to begin 2023 with renewed hope. It promises to be a busy year with the SEA Games in Cambodia in May, Asian Games in China in September plus a host of world championships and other major competitions.

The Straits Times sports desk sought out 16 Singapore athletes across different sports and asked them what their hopes and dreams for the next 12 months are, what advice they could offer the next generation and what excite them about 2023.

1. One thing you want to master in competition?

Yip Pin Xiu (@yippinxiu), 30, para swimming


My tapering before a competition, to get me in the best shape for it. Sometimes it’s a standard format, sometimes it differs, so there’s a lot of trial and error before each meet to be able to get to a point where I can say that this is what I need to do to get the best results. I also want to bring up my aerobic capacity so that I can do well in sprints like the 100m, go out fast and come back fast.

Shayna Ng (@shayng), 33, bowling

I’d love to master patience. More often than not when things don’t go my way, I tend to easily get frustrated. This in turn affects the rest of my games. If I could just be more patient, and appreciate the process, I believe I’ll do a lot better as an athlete.

Chelsie Tan (@chelsie_tan), 32, cycling

National cyclist Chelsie Tan was the first Singaporean to secure a professional contract that will see her compete for Team BikeExchange on the UCI Women’s World Tour in 2022. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

In cycling, power and fitness are important, but I also want to develop my mental toughness by proactively exposing myself to discomfort and uncertainty. Because the more I can embrace these things in training, the better prepared I will be to work through it when racing.

Aloysius Yapp (@aloysiusyapp), 26, pool


Being calm when things don’t go my way. I lose my cool a bit in such situations but I also know it’s not over till it’s over.

2. One change you’d like to see in your sport/ or in Singapore sport?

Loh Kean Yew @lohkeanyew, 25, badminton


Badminton receive more corporate and financial support locally and globally, such that more prize money will be on offer to players at various levels.

James Leow (@j.leowka), 26, golf

More corporate entities supporting Singapore sports in general. Financial support from them is critical in an athlete’s journey. With that said, athletes can also play an active role in value-adding to the companies’ programmes or activities, as well as giving back to society through community service programmes.

Nur Aini Yasli (@ninistronggerl), 30, para powerlifting

Nur Aini Mohamad Yasli was Singapore’s first representative in para power lifting at the Tokyo Paralympics. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

More athletes representing Singapore. With the Asean Para Games and Asian Para Games coming up in 2023, I’m excited to cheer on new athletes, both in powerlifting and other sports.

Ryan Lo (@ryan_lojh), 25, sailing

It would be great if certain sports like sailing could be better broadcasted at some events so that family, friends and the public can follow the races better.

3. A piece of advice you’d give budding young athletes as the year opens?

Delvin Goh (@delvingoh), 27, basketball

Keep working even if the world is falling. You never know when it will be your turn to shine. Therefore, work on your craft, sacrifice some things if you really want to be successful.

Ser Lin Qian (@linqian.__.0501), 16, table tennis

Train your mindset to be strong. Many times, it is the one thing holding us back. Understand that success doesn’t lie in a one-off upset against a big player or just having a few good results. It lies in consistent control of your habits, emotions and mindset. So keep fighting and don’t be afraid of failure.

Danelle Tan (@danelle__tan), 18, football

Singapore forward Danelle Tan square off with Hong Kong defender Ma Chak Shun during a friendly at the Jalan Besar stadium on June 26, 2022. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

When you don’t feel like training, know that there are many other girls around the world training much, much harder. 

Amanda Tan (@tan_manda), 23, golf

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Without making mistakes, we would never be able to learn, improve and make ourselves better. 

4. One cool thing you want to learn/do in 2023?

Toh Kai Wei (@roundyyyy), 26, netball

Learn to appreciate what’s around me. Life have been moving too fast. Even though 2023 is going to be a hectic year for netball, I would like to slow down and take some time to appreciate what’s around. Things like looking at the stars, the moon, enjoying the breeze.

Kumaresa Pasupathy (@kumaresa_34), 26, floorball

I’m starting a new floorball academy for the youth with my twin brother, Vignesa and my national teammate, Syazni called Star Floorball Academy. We’re really looking forward to sharing and passing on our knowledge and experience to the future generation.

Martina Veloso (@martinaveloso), 23, shooting

In the off season, when I have a week’s break, I want to try hiking. I’m more of a beach person and I scuba dive. So in 2023, I want to go hiking with my friends.

Tin Jingyao (@tinjingyao), 22, chess

For something not related to chess, I would like to learn a new language and a new musical instrument in 2023.

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