SINGAPORE - Monica Lim has a unique way of motivating herself on the squash court. The Secondary 4 student from the Singapore Chinese Girls' School (SCGS) would dedicate each point to one of her loved ones.
It worked wonders as she helped her team to their first B Division girls' title since 2015 at Kallang Squash Centre on Wednesday (April 18).
Hanaan Abu and Lim Yu Yuan put SCGS 2-0 up in the best-of-five final against Methodist Girls' School (MGS), beating Cao Yi Yin 11-3, 11-5, 11-4 and Michelle Lai 12-10, 7-11, 11-7, 11-9 respectively.
It was left to the 16-year-old Monica to clinch the winning point and she did not disappoint, defeating Hazel Chua 11-6, 11-9, 9-11, 11-6.
"I played point by point. I would tell myself that this point is for my classmates who came down to support me, this point is for my mum, this point is for my dad and so on to make sure I work for every point," Monica told The Straits Times.
MGS earned a consolation point through Erin Chan, who beat SCGS captain Caren Lim 11-4, 11-5, 11-2 in the fourth singles before Rachel Tan defeated Jewel Tan 11-4, 11-7, 11-1 in the dead rubber to complete a comfortable 4-1 victory.
SCGS were unbeaten throughout the season, posting six wins in the preliminary round to top the table en route to the final.
Captain Caren attributed her team's success to sheer hard work.
In addition to training three times a week in school, the girls would organise their own two-hour sessions on weekends.
"Monica and I decided to play together one Saturday and it just kind of started from there," said Secondary 4 student Caren.
"It's quite cliche, but my team-mates motivate me to work hard, even if it means training on weekends. I didn't want to be the weak link in the team."
The SCGS girls also take part in external competitions to get more exposure and experience.
"Most of us play for squash clubs outside so we try our best to play against more players, brush up on our skills and get as much experience as possible," said Monica, who plays for New Pioneer Squash Club.
"We worked so hard for this and I feel like we really deserved to win."
MGS have now lost two finals in a row after they fell to Raffles Girls' School last year. "We worked together and fought hard as a team and that's what sport is all about," said MGS captain Jewel.