SINGAPORE - Even when the National School Games (NSG) were suspended in May owing to Covid-19, golfer Laelle Chng continued training thrice a week as she looked forward to competing in her first C Division competition, which was slated to take place in Term 3.
The Anglo-Chinese School (International) student even put in an additional training session at Keppel Club whenever she could.
But her dreams of competing in the NSG were dashed when the Ministry of Education (MOE) announced on Monday (June 14) that the suspended annual school competition would be axed for the second consecutive year.
The ministry explained that this was to minimise the intermingling of students from different schools.
Laelle, 13, was disappointed to miss out on the NSG for a second year.
She said: "I didn't expect it but I wasn't really surprised because of this Covid situation. I was a little prepared, but also a little disappointed."
This year's NSG, which featured just 12 of the annual school competition's 29 sports, started in March with the A, B and Senior Divisions, a month after it was originally scheduled to begin following an increase in the number of coronavirus cases in the community.
It was then suspended from May 8 in light of a spike in community cases, bringing the A Division competitions for badminton, tennis, volleyball and table tennis to an abrupt halt.
The junior and C Division competitions were scheduled to begin in Term 3, which starts on June 28.
Although Raffles Girls' School tennis coach Gary Tan had hoped for the Games to go on, he was not surprised by the decision.
Acknowledging that his players would be disappointed, he said that the challenge now would be keeping them motivated to train, particularly as friendlies are also not allowed for the time being.
When the NSG was cancelled last year, Tan reminded his players that it was important to keep training so they could focus on technical skills that would benefit them in the long run.
He said: "These girls want to compete, they live to compete so it's about finding them other outlets to play and creating playing opportunities among ourselves and divisions.
"We just have to roll with the punches and look towards the future with more hope."
While the NSG has been axed, MOE said that it intends to gradually resume in-person co-curricular activities from the second week of Term 3, starting with "low-risk activities".