School Sports: Saints hockey captain Sean See feted with ST's Young Star Award

St Andrew's Secondary hockey captain Sean See is The Straits Times' Young Star of the Month winner.
St Andrew's Secondary hockey captain Sean See is The Straits Times' Young Star of the Month winner. ST PHOTO: MATTHIAS CHONG

SINGAPORE - It has been almost seven months since Sean See was catapulted into national prominence, when this seemingly common teenager won praise and acclaim for his uncommon deed.

Since then, the 16-year-old has merged back into the mass of students in school. The O levels are his cup final now, the final test to culminate his four years at St Andrew's Secondary School.

"All I did was to spare a thought for the opponent. I never thought it would become a big issue," Sean told The Straits Times on Friday (Oct 26).

That "big issue" happened on March 29.

Then, a podium place was at stake in the Schools National boys' B Division hockey bronze-medal play-off and the Secondary 4 student was the captain.

The score was tied at 1-1 in the third quarter when Northland Secondary's Muhammad Raihan Adris sprained his ankle.

After play resumed, the Saints threw the ball to the other side of the pitch for their opponents to start, but miscommunication saw one of their forwards taking the ball and scoring, giving St Andrew's a 2-1 lead.

 

On his own initiative, Sean consulted his coach before requesting that the umpire rule out the goal as he felt that the opposing team were not ready.

The score stayed at 1-1 and the match went to penalties when regulation time could not separate both sides. Northland eventually triumphed 4-3 in the shoot-out to win the bronze.

For his commendable act of sportsmanship, Sean has been awarded The Straits Times' Young Star accolade, an award for school athletes who shone during the National School Games this year and backed by 100Plus. He is also one of four nominated for the Young Star of the Year gong.

ST sports editor Lee Yulin said: "Too often, athletes have a win-at-all-costs mentality. Sean has shown that being honourable and honest also makes you a winner. Not just in sport but also in life. This is why we are recognising his good deed with this award."

The 1.76m centre-back's sporting deed earned him recognition in school, where he was praised during devotion, and his story also went viral on social media.

"It (the attention) has died down now," Sean said.

"But I am very honoured and happy to receive an award like this and to hear the praise."

As he recalled, that act of sportsmanship came instinctively to him.

He said: "When it happened, I asked my coach first and he allowed me to decide.

"I thought I was doing the right thing, to give the opponents a fair chance. So I decided to tell the umpire to cancel out the goal."

Sean, who will continue his studies at St Andrew's Junior College under the Direct School Admission scheme, wants to continue playing hockey for the Saints.

Having already represented the national Under-14s previously, he hopes to don national colours one day but finds the five-time weekly training schedule too heavy to juggle with his studies.

But Sean has already made his mark in the sport. And for his gentlemanly conduct rather than hitting the ball in anger. As he said: "It was the right thing to do."