BELINDA OOI – This year, for the first time, my ex-national team teammates and I came together to form a team to compete at the Singapore Water Polo National League. The tournament took place over 4 weekends from January – February 2019.
I have always enjoyed playing water polo and was very excited to play (somewhat) competitively again. The other teams competing in the league consisted of various university and junior colleges teams so we were mentally framing our approach to this tournament as a matchup of fitness vs. experience.
Water polo is a very intense sport that requires speed, strength, and skill. While most of my teammates no longer train/play water polo regularly, we were hoping that our tacit understanding and experience from years prior of playing together would somehow make up for our lack of fitness.
Personally, I have to thank the gym workouts and run training over the past few months for getting me fit enough to sprint up and down the pool during critical junctures in the game. I also pleasantly surprised myself with a number of effective drives and even scored a few goals!
The endurance from my training runs was particularly helpful during one of the games when every one of us on the team could not afford much rest as we did not have enough substitutes.
The league started off in a round-robin format before progressing to the knockout stages. My team got through to the finals where we beat NUS 15 – 4. What’s amazing to me was that we still played together like the team we were, even though we’ve stopped water polo training for so long!
The tournament was a great opportunity for the entire Water Polo community to meet up and also for the national team coaches to identify up-and-coming young talents!
Hopefully with more leagues like this, our younger girls will be able to develop the skills and match experience they need to bring Singapore Water Polo to greater heights!
Belinda Ooi is a national water polo player, and wife of National Marathoner, Mok Ying Ren. The physiotherapist by day is not short of stellar performances on the pool, road, trail, or for the matter, at home.
21 Feb 2019 – 180 guests gathered at Shangri-la Hotel Singapore today to celebrate the best of the local sporting scene!
The awards event, organized by The Straits Times Sports Desk and presented by 100PLUS Singapore, has always been cherished by those in the sports fraternity to honor the local athletes who had done exceedingly well. Along with it, is also an assurance for greater support for athletes:
Excerpt from The Straits Times Speaking at The Straits Times Athlete of the Year award ceremony, Minister Grace Fu said: “We want our athletes to excel at upcoming major Games… To encourage selected Team Singapore athletes to take on a full training load to start their preparations early for these Games, SportSG is rolling out extended campaign support of $3 million up to two years in advance, for athletes who display potential to excel at these Games and a podium finish.”
It was nothing but an atmosphere of hope and excellence to the athletes, who took no qualms about sacrificing much for their sport. But who are the 10 nominees (in no particular order) who were #lit on their ‘field’?
1. National Bowler, Muhd Jaris Goh
Muhammad Jaris Goh, who fired the Singapore men’s team to a first medal at the World Men’s Championships and a long-overdue medal at the Asian Games in 2018, was named The Straits Times’ Athlete of the Year 2018 – Excerpt from ST
2. St Andrew’s Hockey Captain, Sean See
Sean was awarded the ST Young Star award after he displayed sportsmanship when he asked the umpire to forgo his own team’s goal, which led to the Saints losing to Northland Secondary School, during the National School Games. At the age of 17, he is all ready to be the 2nd Singaporean to receive the Pierre de Coubertin International Fair Play Award already !!!
Today, he was also awarded the ST Young Star of the Year 2018!
(Admin’s note: We think Jed is slightly biased and beaming with pride here, as both Sean and Jed share the same alma mater. #UpandOn)
Interesting trivia, he was coached by ONEathlete Tan Yiru before.
Martina’s former schoolmate & ONEathlete, Shaheed Alam would agree. She is not even 20, sho(o)t to fame at Commonwealth Games with unexpected medals, and is totally photogenic.
(Admin’s note: Enuf said. We are gel-uuz)
8. Queensway Sec’s Footballer, Putri Nur Syaliza
She bends it like Beckham! Woaaaaaaa(go)aaaaaaaal!
9. National Swimmer, Joseph Schooling
No introduction needed. He is Singapore’s golden boy and continues to have such strong camaraderie on the pool at Asian Games.
10. ACS (Barker Road) C Division Table Tennis Team – Ryan Eng, Ryan Chong, Ryan Tan, Ethan Ong, Ethan Chua, Silas Chua, Benjamin Wee and Seth Wong
We saved this for the last.
Coming together from the Junior school, they formed their own team (in the absence of a CCA club), trained for 2 weeks, played, won a bronze medal, and formed their own legit club! Hyperlapse story for these guys, #tbytb
Posters of the 100PLUS Ambassador were seen all around the Island Ballroom, gently reminding us to hydrate well and power our daily exercise regimes with the ACTIVE’s electrolytes, Vitamins B3, B6 and B12!
The Double SEA Games Gold Medalist & National Records Holder, who won Singapore’s first male marathon gold medal in 2013, made his ‘presence-felt’ even though he was not at the awards venue, and was probably at work on the surgical table.
Orthopaedic Resident, Dr. Mok continues to be iconic of many Team Singapore athletes who strive to give a stellar performance in their sporting dreams, professional endeavors, and personal commitments!
DARA MORMILE – The roller coasters we endure in the dating world can sometimes be compared to the twists and turns we confront as runners taking on a new trail or path. We’re excited, cautious, hoping for the best, coping with new conditions and learning how to keep ourselves in control of the situation.
Some athletes choose to put training first, as their priority and prefer to make a commitment to running and fit life instead of hunting for and committing to Mrs. or Mr. Right. Others want to include their mates in the sport to some capacity and are able to share their athletic feats with someone who has the same overall health values. Another percentage of us don’t even care if whoever we’re dating isn’t the type to lace up and join us for the long run.
To each their own!
For runners who are passionate and committed to training – and want some passion in their love lives too – the hectic whirlwind of the dating world may require a careful balancing act. There are a couple of possibilities on the spectrum – runners who may have met that special someone at a race or running event, or runners who meet and fall in love with mates that have no interest in the sport altogether! In another scenario, maybe you’ve met someone who wasn’t a runner before and you’ve inspired their athletic muse (and vice versa)!
But how, exactly, does being a runner affect our ability to meet our match and gauge who our ideal mate would be? For runners who are married with children and have found the gracious balance between sports and personal life, you’re already ahead of the game and you’ve probably mastered dividing and compartmentalizing your time. Those still trying to find love in the midst of sticking to a workout routine – and divide their time while finding a mate – can consider the following points when looking for love.
30 Jan 2019 – With its efficient performance, comfortable support, and great aesthetic, the New Balance Fresh Foam series was made for neutral runners looking for responsiveness and cushioning in their running shoe. Always evolving and improving, Fresh Foam shoes deliver soft and smooth cushioning for running, training, trail or gym.
Birthed from an extremely lightweight and comfortable footwear series, the New Balance Fresh Foam Zante Pursuit makes runners feel as though they are moving at the speed of light.
The latest Fresh Foam Zante Pursuit uses advanced laser-engraving technology that leverages on data-inspired design to provide uncompromising performance for wearers.
Simply put – featherweight! With excess material removed, Zante Pursuit promises an even lighter, better and faster run.
The NB runners who wore the shoes for a run around the CBD area were quick to feel the little ‘springy’ sensation on the mid-soles, and the stretchable support at the cushioned collars. This was a bit more evident as they whisked and manoeuvered around the evening crowd and steps along the inclined route.
For the competitive runners, having a light (read: high performance) shoe is everything! The run seemed a bit more effortless than usual for this elite pack.
But the prowess of the Zante Pursuit is more evident during a rebounding session by the instructors from Beat x Studio. It sure looks easy, but your legs are nothing but wobbly as you bounce on the trampoline. That’s when you feel the one-ness of your feet with the shoe. The dynamic fit of the shoe helps you to land with ease, and jump up with no weights attached.
As Youtuber Umehara Kenji put it, he found a new balance on the mat that day, while others were literally bouncing off to earn their dinner.
It was ‘no sweat’ while the instructors threw in some burpees and push-ups on the trampoline while at it.
For those who prefer a sleeker sock-like version, you can also consider the Fresh Foam Zante Solas. (National Marathoner Yvonne Chee rocks out in her purple Zante Solas in the image below.)
In essence, the New Balance Fresh Foam Zante is a lightweight neutral trainer that strikes a balance between being a soft cushioned ride and a fast snappy responsive feeling.
3 Feb 2019 – RunONE & ONEathlete celebrated our 2nd year! Both athletes and team members came together to look back on a fulfilling year, as well as look forward toward some of the exciting plans that lie ahead.
With Chinese New Year just around the corner, it was only fitting that we started the gathering with a lo-hei. As #ONEturnsTWO, it was touching to notice that the community has grown considerably bigger as athletes are joined by their partners, and as staffing expands.
The cosy setting also afforded many opportunities for athletes to mingle and catch up with one another. It was a welcome respite from ‘business as usual’ and allowed us to get to know one another better as individuals, not just the identity consigned by the sport that we do. At times, conversations would drift back towards the sport that we love and dedicate so much of our time to, as we shared our race plans and training woes as well as how we can support or provide advice through trying times and difficult moments. The point was not lost on each of us at ONE – there is so much more to being an athlete than any national record or personal bests can ever represent. Together, we can help each other achieve much more than any individual ever will.
Thus, we reaffirmed the spirit of family, community and ONEness.
The candid sharing of concerns, challenges, as well as plans and opportunities was loosely structured to create a comfortable environment to review what went well in 2018, and what we could be done better in the year ahead. It was also an opportune moment for many amongst us to give thanks and be grateful for the advice help we have received. The chocolate cake at the end also marked another momentous occasion for the ONE community, as well as the beginning of another chapter together.
From all of us at ONE, we wish our readers a happy Chinese New Year in advance, and fellow athletes an exciting and rewarding season ahead!
“This is Sparta!” We all remember Gerard Butler (as King Leonidas), who declared this statement in anguish as he fought to a dramatic death. Since the release of the 2006 period action film 300, the concept of masculinity and strength has become synonymous with the Spartans.
For 9 years, the Spartan Race has been growing steadily and developed franchisees in 30 countries, including Singapore! The Sports Hub was a natural choice to host the prolific obstacle courses all around its fairly new premises on the 26 January 2019.
Though one might think this race is reserved for the fittest of the fittest, 88.3Jia FM’s DJ Jimmy Koh (@jimkoh) dragged our RunONE Co-founder Jed (@jedsent) there for an early morning Saturday workout anyway! They were going along just to ‘observe’, he insisted.
The obstacles were meant to strike fear in those gunning for their respective bragging rights. It even taunted the most seasoned racers. For example, there was the Rope Climb, where participants were required to employ both upper body strength and knowledge of how to hook with your feet. Immediately after completing that station, Jimmy felt compelled to show off his ‘manly scar’ that he ‘suffered’ from the Rope Climb.
Jimmy also aced the atlas carry station by carrying the weight and going up and down the long stairs of the stadium! But the bigger jaw droppers were the endearing mak-chiks who unwittingly reminded Jimmy of their sheer power! (Read: Who runs the world?)
Despite keeping safety in view, the race organizers fully attempted to test both the physical and mental strength of participants! Check out how Jimmy fared at the other stations:
But rest assured that after all the grilling, what awaited was a big finisher medal, a finisher tee that sealed bragging rights, as well as a very rejuvenating coconut juice station!
Next Spartan Race!
Date: 3rd August 2019 Venue: 200 Turf Club Road, Singapore Register here
The Run For Hope 2019 is taking place on Sunday, February 17 2019. It is organized by Four Seasons Hotel Singapore in collaboration with National Cancer Centre Singapore. Similar to previous years, the funds raised will go towards the National Cancer Centre Research Fund. (More info: http://www.runforhope.sg/)
9 Dec 2018 – The weatherman told us it would be one of the coolest Decembers Singapore has seen recently. Expect showers, they said. Just not in the morning, we hoped. There is a fine line between comfortably cool, perhaps with a slight drizzle, and uncomfortably cats-and-dogs wet. Like the line that serious athletes who push their limits must (eventually) learn to run – too much and you risk blowing up; too gentle and you do not leave your mark. It is a calculated risk that athletes hone over their months and years of preparation.
On a particular December morning for the past 17 years, it is a drill well rehearsed that see throngs of runners take to the streets of Singapore for the marquee running event on Singapore’s race calendar. Among the close to 50,000 who turned up in this year’s Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon (SCSM), a few seek to race the clock and the shadows of yesterdays. But against the backdrop of gearing up for the World Marathon Majors, what made this year’s SCSM extra special, is the number of new faces and rising stars on the circuit.
SCSM Day 1 – 10km Men’s and Women’s Race
In the 10km race category, Vanja Cnops, a Belgian-based researcher in Singapore, won the female race with a time of 40:07. She is no stranger to the podium, having most recently won the King of the Trails 4 female’s race! Goh Chui Ling was the top-ranked Singaporean female runner who came in 3rd with a time of 41:56, marking an improvement of over a minute from her results at the Great Eastern Women’s 10km race, where she also came in 3rd with a timing of 43:00. The rising track star (who trained for the race under former SA Technical Director, Volker Herrmann) shared with RunONE, that this would likely be her last 10km race as she turns her focus back towards the track season, which will get underway soon. Due to a lack of varied terrain for running in Singapore, it is not uncommon for track runners to diversify and switch up their training by either going into road, or trail, races, during the track offseason.
Separately, in the 10km Men’s category, ActiveSG athlete Shobib Marican was the top-ranked Singaporean, winning the silver with a time of 35:58. Shobib trains under coach Steven Quek, whose training ethos is based on a firm belief in consistency. In a short post-race interview with RunONE, Shobib felt that the familiarity earned through hard training gives him a certain level of confidence heading into the race – that the hard work is in the bag. One change that he liked about this year’s SCSM, was the reduction in bottle-neck as the race turned into a 2-day event with the half and full marathon event separated from the 10km. This allowed the 10km racers to better focus on executing their race.
SCSM Day 2 – Half and Full Marathon Men’s and Women’s Race
With the majority of race participants signing up for the half and full marathon, excitement was almost always certain to build up towards day 2, as the finale of this SCSM weekend.
ONEathlete & Under Armour Ambassador Banjamin Quek finished 3rd in the Local Men’s Half Marathon category with a time of 1:22 under trying circumstances.
Speaking to The Straits Times & RunONE at the end of the whole ordeal, Banja felt that the route was ‘good but tough’. He thought that the organisers could have done better by having more water points along the highways and better management of the human traffic who were leaving the race village, as evident from the long queues and crowd bottleneck observed.
Banja also wants to acknowledge and thank the prompt medical attention he received when he nearly collapsed after crossing the finish, a sign that the organizers have paid strong emphasis and close heed to safety issues following earlier race-related fatalities.
In the Full Marathon category, last year’s Men’s Champion Soh Rui Yong defended his title by winning with a time of 2:41:49. Trackstar Athletics’s Mohd Iskandar (2:49:46) who finished 5th Local in 2017, and Giebert Foo (2:54:14) etched into the Men’s top 3 to end the year with a well-deserved blast.
Newer faces on the podium, and more local runners in the sub-3 hour timings displayed the rising competitiveness of the local marathon circuit. Several others include Ho Ghim Khoon (2:56:02, 5th), and Tan Wei Jie (2:59:01, 8th) were also hopeful nominees who started off from the Elite Pen. Another notable young star is Daniel Leow who trains with the Singapore Shufflers and made a remarkable 38 minutes improvement over his 2017 results!
Giebert Foo’s SCSM2017 Ekiden Team, Victorious Secret Angels, retained their 2nd position in 2018, with the 5th and last runner, Soh Hua Qun speeding through to finish with a time of 2:44:46.
ONEathlete Evan Chee finished in 4th place with a time of 2:55:00, narrowly missing out on the podium by just under 1 minute while Ashley Liew suffered in the latter half of the race to finish in 3:09. Having won the SCMS in 2012 and coming in 2nd last year, it was clearly not his best performance by a large margin.
While this year’s preparation was largely similar to previous years, Ashley had tried incorporating minor tweaks in this year’s SCSM lead-up by racing more short distance events. Nonetheless, with his 2:41 finish at the Tokyo Marathon earlier in Feb 2018, Ashley remains the second fastest Singaporean over the Marathon distance this year. The upcoming offseason will provide an ideal window for Ashley to rethink his training and race strategies, and regroup before the 2019 season.
Before the race, Evan had set his focus on a singular goal and that is to improve upon his 2017 results by snagging a season-best finish quicker than his Gold Coast Marathon result of 2:51. Training was definitely different this year as Evan had to lay off running while recovering from injury for good part of the year since Jan. Mileage remained low throughout most of 2018 until the 2 months leading up to SCSM, when he finally managed to put in consistent weekly mileage above 100km.
As a result, Evan has had to adjust his race execution by focusing more on execution and good pacing strategy for this year. In the end, he managed to secure a 4th place finish in a highly competitive event like SCSM, which also doubled up as the National Championship for the 2nd year running.
Making the podium for the Women’s Marathon was, Dr Lim Baoying who was not an elite runner (starting from Pen A) emerged as the surprise winner with a time of 3:16:36; 2017 defending women’s champion, Rachel See, was strong through the first 30km of the race with an average pace of 4:25min/km and had to dig deep in the closing kilometres of the race to finish 2nd at 3:18:36. He Xiuying rounded up the podium with a very respectable finish of 3:18:57.x
Evan’s sister, Yvonne Elizabeth Chee, also competing in the elite female category for the first time, finished in 4th place with a time of 3:25. She had skipped the 2017 Marathon post-pregnancy, and geared her way into ‘her special spot’. The civil servant and mother of two also thanked her husband, who ‘made it possible’ by taking care of their children to afford her precious time away for her training runs. Singapore’s marathon Olympian, Neo Jie Shi came in 5th at 3:27:31.
With the conclusion of SCSM 2018, the hectic running season in Singapore comes to a pause as we, runners and spectators alike, usher in the festive season and a time to share with our loved ones! As we gather to celebrate love, friendship and hope during this holiday, the future for Singapore’s running looks bright given the performance and number of rising local stars at SCSM 2018. A starry, starry future beholds.
26 Nov 2018 – The folks at lululemon brought together a bunch of highly flexible and creative individuals for a very thoughtfully planned weekend retreat at Sofitel Singapore. Not being one of the flexible ones, our Co-founder Jed was gratified to have been invited to join in! For all who attended, it seemed like a much-needed getaway from the buzz of really busy lives, on Sentosa Island.
All the lululemon Ambassadors and invited guests from Singapore and Malaysia were encouraged to put away their mobiles and anything that could potentially distract them from being fully present. Now, while you might feel that this would be like losing an arm or leg, our Co-founder – who stopped replying any messages or emails till the end of the day – said that it really gave him the time to reflect, process and be intentional about life in general. Ultimately, the virtue of MINDFULNESS was introduced.
Each of the sessions was centered around the core identity of the brand. For example, the participants encountered CHOICE when they explored possibilities during the first session, when they had a ‘unicorn brainstorm’ to list all the possibilities in their lives and overcome self-limiting beliefs to craft a reality-redefining ‘Possibility Statement’! After all, the biggest obstruction to our goals is our own limiting beliefs.
What are the values you stand for? What are the core values that define you? The facilitators got the peeps to identify these from a laundry list of values, before zooming in on the main themes and values. This effectively created a greater sense of self-awareness and MINDFULNESS of what is really important to and is driving us!
Every morning also began with silence (where participants did not engage in any conversation) and PRACTICE modern yoga and meditation. “The last time I did yoga was about more than 20 years ago,” Jed quipped. But we guess it did him much good, as he said he was more flexible and woke up with no back pains the next day. (Editor’s note: Can we send Jed to you guys again?)
No man is an island (pun intended, despite being on Sentosa!) and indeed, the COLLECTIVE of facilitators, organizers, 30 participants and support crew all played a pivotal role in each participant’s journey and experience. Intimate and transparent sharing knit their trust with one another and strengthened the friendships. New relationships were forged, and needless to say, the goodbyes were a little harder on the last day.
Despite this, a more meaningful finale would be to now go out as empowered individuals, and impact other lives positively! Lululemon S.E.A. wants these 30 Ambassadors and invited guests to experience the joy of giving and gave them 3 affirming cards and gift cards each, to bless others with.
It is indeed more of a blessing to give than to receive. Not just with gifts and cards, but also to give of ourselves to this world, through deliberate PRACTICE, intentional MINDFULNESS, and unlimited CHOICES, with this lululemon COLLECTIVE! May you #feelgoodgiving too!