Age no barrier for youngest and oldest Team Singapore competitors at SEA Video games

SINGAPORE: On most days, Radiance Koh is a regular hectic Secondary Just one scholar, and Chia Tee Chiak is a laidback retiree. But appear Aug 19, both of those of them will be heading to Malaysia to compete in the twenty ninth Southeast Asian Video games as the youngest and oldest Team Singapore athletes.

The Video games will be just one for the guides for the 13-calendar year-outdated sailor and the sixty eight-calendar year-outdated garden bowler, who will compete at the event for the initial and previous time, respectively.

Radiance has been sailing due to the fact she was 8, when she picked it up as a Co-Curricular Action in key school. She skilled for the national teaching squad just two many years afterwards. She cites “learning, relearning, and unlearning” as just one of her vital tactics for results.

“When you decide on up a new ability, you’ll check out it on the drinking water and see whether this new ability functions. If it does not operate, you can depart it apart and get up one more new ability and check out again,” she elaborated.

Radiance Koh will be producing her debut in the Optimist class at the twenty ninth SEA Video games this August. (Picture: Nicole Lim)

Even though this will be Radiance’s initial physical appearance at a main games, she is no stranger to battling it out on the sea. She has continuously ranked among the prime in local and abroad regattas in the Optimist class, including rising winner at the 2016 Changi Sailing Club Gold Fleet Championship, and coming in third place at the 2017 KFC Langkawi Global Regatta.

To qualify for the SEA Video games, Radiance initial experienced to finish as just one of the prime ten women in a few local regattas. They then experienced to compete in one more trial, and Radiance, who emerged initial, was chosen to represent Singapore in the Video games. She hopes to get at the very least a medal this August.


Meanwhile, this is Tee Chiak’s third time competing in the SEA Video games. The previously ranked earth range eleven picked up garden bowling twenty many years in the past “not by alternative, but by coincidence”, following staying released to it at a business sports activities event.

Having said that, his knack for the sport was apparent right from the start off, when he bagged the prime trophy in that event.

Tee Chiak, who is also an avid golfer, attributes some of his ability to his placing prowess, which can help him to estimate the amount of money of pounds he demands to implement when bowling in order to strike the target.

Irrespective of their varying stages of knowledge, both of those Radiance and Tee Chiak agreed that obtaining the opportunity to represent Singapore at this year’s Video games was some thing that they did not anticipate.

Although Radiance claimed she “didn’t know what to expect at first”, she claimed she was pretty encouraged by her fellow sailors who gave her “all the moral assistance that she needed”.

Tee Chiak, on the other hand, claimed that representing Singapore in a activity at this age is some thing he experienced “never dreamt of”.

Chia Tee Chiak will go for gold in his previous garden bowling try at the SEA Video games. (Picture: Nicole Lim)

He has his eyes on a gold medal, following narrowly missing out in his previous SEA Video games 10 many years in the past when he received silver. That knowledge continues to be just one of his proudest recollections.

“It was some thing that I the very least expected. Malaysia is generally the strongest for the reason that they have the most assistance, but when I was there, I beat the range just one bowler from Malaysia. That was just one of my happiest moments,” he laughed as he reminisced.

He continues to be optimistic about doing effectively this calendar year, even with the tricky opposition he expects to encounter. “They always say the ball is spherical. On that day, if luck is with you, you can conquer any trouble. So we always have a opportunity, undoubtedly,” he claimed.


Having said that, Radiance and Tee Chiak also admitted that the course of their sporting journeys does not always operate easy.

For Radiance, the main obstacle she faces is balancing amongst her scientific studies and teaching.

In lots of means, Radiance is not that various from other small children her age. She is a Secondary Just one scholar at Nanyang Girls Significant College, and goes for tuition 2 times a 7 days. In her cost-free time, she enjoys taking part in badminton and frisbee with her neighbours, and will take treatment of her animals, which include things like a pet dog, a guinea pig, and stick insects.

Having said that, on prime of all that, Radiance trains five days a 7 days with the Optimist Countrywide A staff. Her packed program frequently indicates that she has to wolf down her lunch in the car or truck as her grandmother ferries her around from place to place.

Even though Radiance only began secondary school this calendar year, she has now skipped six months of lessons because of to abroad competitions and teaching. She will miss one more two months for the SEA Video games. To make up for this, Radiance brings her research together on abroad competitions, and arranges for consultations with her lecturers early in the morning prior to classes start out.

Radiance’s mother, Mrs Koh Theng Theng, believes that sailing “enhances” Radiance’s scientific studies. (Picture: Nicole Lim)

Radiance has a league of committed and “supportive” classmates and lecturers who hold her in the loop through WhatsApp and email. Her mother, Mrs Koh Theng Theng, also keeps in close get in touch with with her lecturers to guarantee that she is coping effectively at school. She also enters Radiance in several abroad competitions to create up her publicity. Mrs Koh, a former windsurfer herself, believes that the psychological and actual physical power crafted from sailing “enhances” Radiance’s scientific studies.

Radiance’s spouse and children options also revolve around her teaching program. This indicates shorter spouse and children vacations, or from time to time, even “none at all”.

Having said that, what keeps Radiance soldiering on is her love for the activity, which she describes as “relaxing” and a “break from school”.

When asked about her main setbacks in her sailing vocation, Radiance laughed, and recounted an significant qualifier race in 2013 which would ascertain her place in the national teaching squad. Right prior to the race, a sailor collided into her model new boat, producing a massive gap. Her mentor encouraged her not to cry, and she went on to arise winner in the race.

Her perseverance in the encounter of failure is some thing she hopes will persuade other younger athletes. She claimed: “Even if you are unsuccessful, you can do do it again, you can triumph again.”

Back TO Do the job

Tee Chiak, who is two generations more mature than Radiance, faces a absolutely various set of problems.

Although Radiance is frequently shorter of time, he has an abundance of it, as he has been retired for more than 2 many years. His only commitments are garden bowling teaching sessions which get place thrice a 7 days, and golfing with his “kakis” on the weekend.

Having said that, this also indicates that Tee Chiak has no continuous resource of earnings. Immediately after the SEA Video games, he hopes to retire from competitive garden bowling and go back to the workforce to go on producing a residing.

“I’m not performing for the reason that of this. It’s not truthful if I go and discover work again and operate for two months, and get a few months off,” he claimed. “Presently, I’m practically doing almost nothing, waking up at any time I would like, heading wherever I want, but no earnings. No matter what cost savings, everyday you spend, is all long gone.”

Tee Chiak also admitted that he can get lethargic when teaching sessions are held under the hot sun.

One more challenge weighing on Tee Chiak’s thoughts is the long run of garden bowling in Singapore. Although he believes garden bowling is a activity for all ages, the majority of the bowlers in Singapore are previously mentioned fifty. He claimed the absence of succession in the group is a difficulty.

“This is not like tenpin bowling. The difficulty with this sport is that it’s much too mild and sluggish, so youngsters really do not like it,” he claimed. “You’ll discover that there are generally no spectators, even for our national games.”

Having said that, in spite of all these problems, both of those Radiance and Tee Chiak are self-confident that the enthusiasm for their activity will go further than their competitive vocation.

Radiance, who hopes to results in being a veterinarian in the long run, claimed she “definitely” sees herself sailing at a recreational amount even then, though Tee Chiak claimed he will go on garden bowling till he is “not capable to stroll properly and is compelled to stop”.  

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