ST Sports Talk Podcast: Are more S’porean parents ready to back their children’s sporting dreams?

David Chua and Teo Ee Sin supported their daughter Grace, a national badminton player, when she wanted to pursue the sport full time before going to university. PHOTO: COURTESY OF GRACE CHUA
Vera Ong (left, with son Ethan Lye and daughter Sasha) moved with him to Chiang Mai, where he studied and trained for two years, and then Sydney to chase his dream of being a pro tennis player. PHOTO: COURTESY OF VERA ONG

ST Sports Talk Ep 132: Are more S'porean parents ready to back their children's sporting dreams?

24:39 mins

Synopsis: ST Sports Talk is The Straits Times' monthly sports podcast.

In this episode, sports correspondent Sazali Abdul Aziz and sports reporter Laura Chia invite Vera Ong and David Chua, who are among a growing group of parents who have gone against the traditional grain and thrown their full support behind their childrens' pursuit of elite-level sport.

Ms Ong is the mother of 19-year-old tennis player Ethan Lye, who has largely been based abroad since 2012 honing his skills, while Mr Chua is the father of 25-year-old national badminton player Grace, who has represented Singapore at three SEA Games and the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in 2018.

They discuss:

1. Why they decided to go all in, and whether they had doubts (1:20)

2. Challenges as a parent taking this path (7:08)

3. Have critics told them they've made the wrong decision? (14:56)

4. How have their respective decisions affected them and their kids? (19:58)

Produced by: Sazali Abdul Aziz (, Laura Chia ( and Penelope Lee

Edited by: Penelope Lee

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