Age no barrier for youngest and oldest Staff Singapore competition at SEA Games

SINGAPORE: On most days, Radiance Koh is a normal busy Secondary Just one student, and Chia Tee Chiak is a laidback retiree. But appear Aug 19, each of them will be heading to Malaysia to compete in the twenty ninth Southeast Asian Games as the youngest and oldest Staff Singapore athletes.

The Games will be 1 for the books for the thirteen-year-aged sailor and the 68-year-aged lawn bowler, who will compete at the function for the 1st and final time, respectively.

Radiance has been sailing due to the fact she was 8, when she picked it up as a Co-Curricular Action in major university. She experienced for the countrywide coaching squad just two yrs afterwards. She cites “learning, relearning, and unlearning” as 1 of her crucial procedures for results.

“When you choose up a new skill, you’ll test it on the drinking water and see whether or not this new skill will work. If it doesn’t work, you can depart it apart and get up yet another new skill and test yet again,” she elaborated.

Radiance Koh will be creating her debut in the Optimist course at the twenty ninth SEA Games this August. (Picture: Nicole Lim)

Whilst this will be Radiance’s 1st overall look at a key video games, she is no stranger to battling it out on the sea. She has regularly ranked amongst the top in neighborhood and abroad regattas in the Optimist course, including emerging champion at the 2016 Changi Sailing Club Gold Fleet Championship, and coming in 3rd put at the 2017 KFC Langkawi Worldwide Regatta.

To qualify for the SEA Games, Radiance 1st had to end as 1 of the top ten women in 3 neighborhood regattas. They then had to compete in yet another trial, and Radiance, who emerged 1st, was chosen to depict Singapore in the Games. She hopes to get at the very least a medal this August.


In the meantime, this is Tee Chiak’s 3rd time competing in the SEA Games. The previously ranked globe amount eleven picked up lawn bowling twenty yrs in the past “not by selection, but by coincidence”, following being launched to it at a organization sporting activities function.

However, his knack for the match was apparent proper from the start out, when he bagged the top trophy in that function.

Tee Chiak, who is also an avid golfer, attributes some of his skill to his placing prowess, which helps him to estimate the quantity of fat he needs to implement when bowling in buy to strike the concentrate on.

Despite their various degrees of working experience, each Radiance and Tee Chiak agreed that acquiring the likelihood to depict Singapore at this year’s Games was a thing that they did not anticipate.

Although Radiance explained she “didn’t know what to anticipate at first”, she explained she was incredibly inspired by her fellow sailors who gave her “all the ethical assistance that she needed”.

Tee Chiak, on the other hand, explained that symbolizing Singapore in a sport at this age is a thing he had “never dreamt of”.

Chia Tee Chiak will go for gold in his final lawn bowling endeavor at the SEA Games. (Picture: Nicole Lim)

He has his eyes on a gold medal, following narrowly missing out in his final SEA Games 10 yrs in the past when he gained silver. That working experience continues to be 1 of his proudest memories.

“It was a thing that I the very least predicted. Malaysia is typically the strongest because they have the most assistance, but when I was there, I beat the amount 1 bowler from Malaysia. That was 1 of my happiest times,” he laughed as he reminisced.

He continues to be optimistic about undertaking effectively this year, inspite of the hard competitiveness he expects to facial area. “They always say the ball is spherical. On that working day, if luck is with you, you can get over any problem. So we always have a likelihood, definitely,” he explained.


However, Radiance and Tee Chiak also admitted that the program of their sporting journeys does not always run smooth.

For Radiance, the most important challenge she faces is balancing among her experiments and coaching.

In many strategies, Radiance is not that unique from other small children her age. She is a Secondary Just one student at Nanyang Girls Higher University, and goes for tuition 2 times a week. In her cost-free time, she enjoys actively playing badminton and frisbee with her neighbours, and takes care of her pets, which include a pet, a guinea pig, and stick insects.

However, on top of all that, Radiance trains 5 days a week with the Optimist Countrywide A group. Her packed program often indicates that she has to wolf down her lunch in the car as her grandmother ferries her around from put to put.

Even nevertheless Radiance only started secondary university this year, she has by now skipped six months of lessons owing to abroad competitions and coaching. She will miss yet another two months for the SEA Games. To make up for this, Radiance brings her research together on abroad competitions, and arranges for consultations with her lecturers early in the early morning ahead of courses commence.

Radiance’s mom, Mrs Koh Theng Theng, thinks that sailing “enhances” Radiance’s experiments. (Picture: Nicole Lim)

Radiance has a league of devoted and “supportive” classmates and lecturers who preserve her in the loop via WhatsApp and email. Her mom, Mrs Koh Theng Theng, also retains in close call with her lecturers to assure that she is coping effectively at university. She also enters Radiance in several abroad competitions to build up her exposure. Mrs Koh, a former windsurfer herself, thinks that the mental and physical power designed from sailing “enhances” Radiance’s experiments.

Radiance’s family members programs also revolve around her coaching program. This indicates shorter family members vacations, or sometimes, even “none at all”.

However, what retains Radiance soldiering on is her love for the sport, which she describes as “relaxing” and a “break from school”.

When asked about her key setbacks in her sailing career, Radiance laughed, and recounted an important qualifier race in 2013 which would ascertain her spot in the countrywide coaching squad. Proper ahead of the race, a sailor collided into her model new boat, creating a massive gap. Her mentor inspired her not to cry, and she went on to emerge champion in the race.

Her perseverance in the facial area of failure is a thing she hopes will inspire other youthful athletes. She explained: “Even if you are unsuccessful, you can do do it yet again, you can thrive yet again.”

Back TO Work

Tee Chiak, who is two generations older than Radiance, faces a entirely unique established of problems.

Although Radiance is often limited of time, he has an abundance of it, as he has been retired for a lot more than 2 yrs. His only commitments are lawn bowling coaching sessions which get put thrice a week, and golfing with his “kakis” on the weekend.

However, this also indicates that Tee Chiak has no constant supply of income. Immediately after the SEA Games, he hopes to retire from aggressive lawn bowling and go back again to the workforce to go on creating a dwelling.

“I’m not working because of this. It’s not reasonable if I go and uncover employment yet again and work for two months, and get 3 months off,” he explained. “Presently, I’m almost undertaking absolutely nothing, waking up whenever I desire, going any where I want, but no income. Whatsoever personal savings, daily you devote, is all gone.”

Tee Chiak also admitted that he can get lethargic when coaching sessions are held beneath the warm sunshine.

Yet another difficulty weighing on Tee Chiak’s thoughts is the foreseeable future of lawn bowling in Singapore. Although he thinks lawn bowling is a sport for all ages, the majority of the bowlers in Singapore are higher than fifty. He explained the absence of succession in the community is a issue.

“This is not like tenpin bowling. The issue with this match is that it’s far too light and slow, so kids never like it,” he explained. “You’ll uncover that there are typically no spectators, even for our countrywide video games.”

However, in spite of all these problems, each Radiance and Tee Chiak are self-assured that the passion for their sport will go past their aggressive career.

Radiance, who hopes to will become a veterinarian in the foreseeable future, explained she “definitely” sees herself sailing at a leisure degree even then, though Tee Chiak explained he will go on lawn bowling until he is “not able to stroll thoroughly and is compelled to stop”.  

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