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Charging on with teamwork and finesse

28 Sep 2017

Sports does not just help youths to develop resilience and personal strengths - it also helps them to build friendships and essential skills such as moral character, teamwork skills and time management.

Gabriel Yong, a Year 2 student from Victoria Junior College, recently concluded the National School Games 2017 with his team at second place in the A Division Boys Championships. The captain and centre back let us on his sporting journey.

My journey with hockey began when I was in Primary 3 at Saint Andrew's Junior School, where I got captivated by how interesting and fun hockey looked. I thought I’d give it a shot and try out the sport.

Who do you look up to in the hockey world?

I look up to my coaches and seniors because they have taught me so much during training. My seniors have taken care of me on both training and non-training days, helping me learn from my mistakes along the way. Also, my coaches helped nurture my passion to play hockey.

How do you manage to strike a balance between your studies and training, especially when you are taking your A-Level examinations this year?

We usually train on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On days where there’s no training, I do my best to focus and catch up on my school work. I try not to accumulate incomplete work as I know it will eventually be a heavy burden for me.

Do you need to adjust your diet or sleep when nearing competition days?

It is important to get enough rest and sleep to sustain my energy in class and on pitch. Diet wise, I try my best to refrain from fast food!

What are some of the challenges you have faced? How have they shaped your outlook and values?

As the captain of the team, one challenge includes trying to band my teammates together. They might be discouraged after a loss or a session of very vigorous training. It can be difficult to bring them together to fight and work hard for the same goal. Despite this, I'm blessed with a wonderful team that never leaves anyone behind and we constantly encourage each other. This to me, is the beauty of resilience and teamwork because if we are resilient together, no adversity can bring us down.

What is your advice to younger students who are interested in this sport?

Do your best at everything you attempt. Even if training or games don't go your way, learn from them and be positive. Also, work as a team. Nothing can be done if you have a divided team. Together we are stronger.