SEA Games 2015: Interview with #OurTeamSG Part 3

The 28th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games will officially commence in less than a week, in fact some sports like football and netball are already underway! Athletes and delegates from the region are all flying in to Singapore to compete in this glorious Games. In the past 2 weeks, we have introduced to you 10 athletes from #OneTeamSG and you can read their interviews here and here.

Part 3 of our series introduces to you more of our local heroes!

Name: Ng Hanbin
Age: 26
Sport: Basketball
Played since: 10
In Singapore Slingers since: 2010
In National Team since: 2010
Hanbin Ng, Team Singapore Basketball

Hanbin Ng, Team Singapore Basketball (Image via Hoop Nut)

Han Bin, we are seeing you everywhere, especially on TV! Can you share more about the SEA Games 2015 ad you are in – the one where you shot hoops consecutively while blindfolded – how did you manage to do that?
There were moments I couldn’t locate the hoop and missed too, but then I managed to make some consecutive shots. We don’t usually do that during trainings but that test on my muscle memory was indeed amazing.
What inspired you to pick up the sport?
My first friend in life, whom I’m still close to.
What do you enjoy about playing basketball?
The drive to strive for perfection and it’s my gift to shine for Him, reaching out to people.
What’s the biggest challenge you have faced during your career as a basketballer? If applicable, please share how you overcame it or are trying to overcome it?
To have a breakthrough after the constant struggles in the first few years. Have faith while trying to work the hardest on court everyday.
Has playing for the Singapore team always been your dream? What are some of your thoughts going in to the SEA Games 2015?
Initially no. But it has been an honour for me since putting on the flag on my chest 5 years ago. Without a doubt, to improve our results from two years ago.
During your time off, where can we find you hanging out in Singapore?
Anywhere, I explore different places when I have the time.
What is one Singaporean dish you can absolutely not do without?
Ming Kee Chicken Rice at the Kim San Leng coffeeshop in Bishan!
Tell us one fun fact about yourself that people will never expect.
I’m a bad dancer… (laughs)
One quote that you live by:
“If what you did yesterday still looks big to you, you haven’t done anything today.”

Name: Kalya Kee
Age: 19
Occupation: Student
Sport (and events): Waterskiing (Slalom, Tricks and Jumps)
Played since: 2008
In the National Team since: 2010
Kalya Kee - Team Singapore Waterskier

Kalya Kee – Team Singapore Waterskier img cc: Benny Kee of

What/Who inspired you to pick up the sport?
My parents really pushed me to take up the sport, as they are both water skiers themselves.
Share with us your mum’s SEA Games story; How amazing is it to be a fellow SEA Games medallist just like your mother, with both Games more than 10 years apart in Indonesia?; How involved is she in your sporting journey?
My mum won the silver in the trick ski event of the 1997 SEA Games, and is a huge supporter of my water-skiing endeavour. She is often on the boat to coach my trick skiing and gives me lots of advice when it comes to competing and skiing as well as balancing school and skiing.
What do you enjoy about waterskiing? What is slalom?
I really enjoy getting out of the house and spending time with my family! My entire family skis so its great to get out of the house and onto the water at least once a week.
Slalom skiing is an aspect of tournament water skiing, where a skier (on a single ski) must navigate through a course consisting of 6 buoys in a kind of zigzag pattern. Every consecutive pass is harder than the pass before it, with the boat speed increasing to a maximum of 55kph for women and 58kph for men. When the boat speed reaches the maximum, the rope is shortened at specific lengths to make it harder. Once you miss a buoy thats the end of your run!
What is a common perception about your sport and is it accurate? Why?
That the sport is expensive.
The perception is pretty accurate, mainly because our sport requires a lot more equipment than other sports, which all adds to the cost of our sport.
If you were not in waterski, what sport (or other pursuits) will you most likely be doing?
Probably something to do with art, I actually really like to watercolour paint, and I wish I had more time to do it.
Tell us one fun fact about yourself that people will never expect.
I really love to cook, and I sometimes cook for my family! I am constantly looking to learn new recipes, and improve my cooking skills.
What local food do you miss most when you are competing overseas?
Chwee Kueh!
One quote that you live by:
“Sometimes the fall kills you. And sometimes, when you fall, you fly.”
Kalya and co. will be flying on water and reaching for Gold at Bedok Reservoir from 11th to 14th June.

Name: Teo Kee Hui Keith
Age: 24
Occupation: Student
Sport: Archery
Played since: 2009
In the national team since: 2010
Keith Teo - Team Singapore Archer

Keith Teo – Team Singapore Archer

How did you pick up the sport?
I’ve always been fond of weapons like swords, bow and arrows. When my elder sister was in Junior College, she picked up archery and brought home her archery equipment one day. I was very intrigued by the bow and the art of practicing archery so I signed up for archery first thing when I entered Ngee Ann Polytechnic.
How many hours a week do you put in for preparation for SEA Games?
Minimum 48 hours per week.
How do you motivate yourself?
Good athletes inspire themselves while Great athletes inspire others. I see myself as a target/goal for our local archers to aim towards. By improving my skills and winning on world stage, I can prove to them that if I as a Singaporean can do it, so can they.
Do you enjoy watching movies that feature archery? (Hunger Games, Robin Hood, Lord of the Rings just to name a few…) Any favourite on-screen archer?
Totally! They embody what I often imagine myself doing. My favourite on-screen archer used to be Legolas from the Lord of the Rings but now, Tauriel the she-elf from The Hobbit is my favourite.
If you were not in archery, what sport (or other pursuits) will you most likely be doing?
It is hard to imagine what life would be without archery. I will most likely be focusing more on my studies if I’m not in archery. I’m not a very sporty person.
As a national athlete, do you often get “arrowed” in class or other group settings?
Not really. To my classmates or project group mates, I’m just another guy missing classes, project meetings, and exams to attend training or take part in competitions overseas. It is all about time management, really.
What do you miss most about Singapore when you are competing overseas?
Most of the time my family and my kakis (friends) whom I have a close bond with. Once in awhile, I do miss the local food and our country’s cleanliness.
The archers will be aiming for victory at Kallang Cricket Field come 10th June to 14th June.

Name: Soo Qin Qi Melissa
Age: 27
Occupation: Marketing Manager
Sport (Class): Judo Shiai (-70KG)
Played since: 2005
In the National Team since: 2011
Melissa Soo - Team Singapore Female Judo Martial Arts Exponent

Melissa Soo – Team Singapore Judoka

How did you come to play judo?
I was introduced to Judo during my days in Nanyang Junior College. Initially I wanted to go for the touch rugby orientation but it was raining that afternoon and the field was muddy. I didn’t want to ruin my new shoes so I went for the Judo orientation instead. The game intrigued me since. I didn’t even bother to try out other CCAs. Haha!What are some challenges you face as a judoka?In Judo, having a partner is important as we need him/her to practice our throws and spar with. However, there are insufficient female judokas in Singapore and I often have to practice with the boys. Their (Boys) playing style is different and can be quite rough at times which could potentially lead to injuries.Do you enjoy any other martial arts?I think BJJ is pretty cool and it complements Judo; MMA like UFC is exciting to watch!Tell us one fun fact about yourself that people will never expect.I am a actually a commissioned St John’s Ambulance Brigade Officer.Where is your “kampung” in Singapore and what is your favourite thing about the place?Hougang! I love how the park connector below my block is able to link all the way to Lorong Halus & Punggol Waterfront. It makes for a great running route and my runs have become more enjoyable.

What is your favourite local food at your “kampong”?

It’s hard for me to pinpoint on a particular local food as I love the variety our local cuisine offers and I simply love good food! I’ll say that Kovan Hawker Centre will be the place to satisfy all my local food cravings. See you there maybe!

Our judokas will fight their way to top of the podium from 6th to 8th June at Singapore Expo Hall 2.

Name: Alvinia Ow Yong

Age: 27

Occupation: Engineer

Sport: Rugby 7s

Played since: 2012

In the national team since: 2012

Alvinia Ow Yong - Team Singapore Female Rugby Player

Alvinia Ow Yong – Team Singapore Rugger

How did you pick up Rugby 7s?

I was an avid and competitive touch rugby player since Junior College. Touch and Rugby 7s are quite similar and I like to try different sports, so when a group of friends asked me to join a 7s tournament, I agreed and it all started from there.

We understand that you made a decision to put competing at Touch on hold?

It has been 8 years since rugby 7s featured at the SEA Games, furthermore it will be held in Singapore this year. It is a great chance to compete with the support of family and friends. Mid-2014, I made the decision to focus on rugby training for SEA Games and it has been a great experience so far, picking up new skills and game knowledge, which I will be using to contribute to the team.

How many hours a week is spent on preparation for the Games now?

Up to 12 hours a week is spent training for the Games.

How do you/What do you do personally cope with the tension and nerves before such high pressure matches for your sport?

Listening to music helps keep me focused on the game ahead.

What message do you have to share about developing women’s rugby in Singapore?

Rugby is a game that anyone can pick up. It has a steep learning curve but players can derive excitement right from their first taste of the game on!

What other sports do you play?

Many others! Most notably, touch and football.

Where is your “kampung” in Singapore and what is your favourite thing about that place?

Definitely Thomson stretch. There are lots of food places around!

Can you recommend any “die die must try hawker food” from your “kampung”?

You have to visit Sin Ming Roti Prata, their roti prata is nice and fluffy.

If there was one advice you would give to an aspiring sportswoman in Singapore, what would it be?

Strive for excellence, not perfection. It is okay to make mistakes under pressure as long as you recover and learn from them well.

Alvinia and her team will be chasing glory for Singapore at Choa Chu Kang Stadium on 6th and 7th June.

With the Games about to get underway (some events have already begun), Shiok! is proud to be fully behind #OneTeamSG. To help you get in the spirit of the Games, we are running a FB Contest – You stand a chance to win awesome Shiok! and official SEA Games merchandise including the Nila mascot soft toy! What are you waiting for, get into the spirit of the Games and WIN!

Remember also to follow @ShiokSG and share your support for #OneTeamSG…All the best to Singapore!

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