School sports: Westwood Secondary's Ryan Toh, Katong Convent's Amelynn Sim crowned B Div bowling champs

Westwood Secondary's Ryan Toh claimed the B Division boys' singles bowling championship on April 9, 2021.
Westwood Secondary's Ryan Toh claimed the B Division boys' singles bowling championship on April 9, 2021.PHOTO: COURTESY OF RYAN TOH

SINGAPORE - This week saw the opening national-level finals of the National School Games take place and fittingly, the gold medals went to two students who are set to close out their secondary school sports careers.

Westwood Secondary's Ryan Toh claimed the B Division boys' singles bowling championship on Thursday (April 8), with CHIJ Katong Convent's Amelynn Danielle Sim doing likewise in the girls' event a day later.

Their achievements marked a first for both schools.

Bowling also proved a trailblazer, being the first sport to hold national finals for this year's NSG after action resumed on March 29. The Games were cancelled last year owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Safety measures were in play at the Temasek Club along Rifle Range Road. Besides remaining one metre apart, using safe entry and having their temperature taken, the students also kept their masks on throughout the competition. Each team of two participants were allowed to bowl only on one lane and they were not allowed to cross lanes.

Parents and spectators - whose presence often lights up a venue - were noticeably absent. In the past, a strike or spare would have attracted a hearty round of cheers from those present, but this time, there was only enthusiastic applause.

It was Ryan, 17, who coped best in the muted atmosphere, his 1,385-pinfall total easily besting the tallies of Hwa Chong International's Chua Zhong Han (1,282) and Anglo-Chinese School (Independent)'s Zephyr Liew (1,260).

The Secondary 5 student, who has made the national development squad, said: "My score was more than what I expected. I was actually very nervous going into the competition, especially with Covid stopping all competitions last year and this being my final year to compete.

"But I was well-prepared going into the competition and I tried my best. I also appreciated that the team spirit was high and we were supporting each other throughout the game."

Like many other student-athletes, Amelynn was also grateful to be back in action, and that bowling was included in this year's Games.

She said: "It was quite tough on everybody, especially after a whole year of no training and no competition. But I am glad that everyone took the time to work hard and come back even stronger this year."

She edged out Methodist Girls' School's Lim Wan Ling (1,253) by 20 pinfalls, with MGS' Chee Jaye Min (1,229) claiming the singles bronze.

The Katong Convent B Division girls' team warming up ahead of their match, on April 9, 2021. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

Amelynn, a Secondary 4 student, was the only bowler who managed to hit at least 200 pinfalls in all six games on Friday.

She said: "I am quite happy about (my score) as I managed to find consistency in my game play today, but in terms of ranking, I did not expect it as I was just focusing on the process.

"(Winning) feels good because I felt like I was focused, and I was ready for this competition. My main goal before the competition was to get into the top three, which I am glad I managed to accomplish."

While both Amelynn and Ryan's points will contribute to their schools' overall scores, the battle is far from over, as the doubles and quartet events take place next week. On top of the doubles and quartet title, the all-events title and overall schools title will also be decided on April 15, after all events are completed.