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Sports Staff Embrace Life-Long Learning and New Experiences

Staff Feature: Chin Khen Theen (Senior General Manager, Swimming Academy), Zhai Yu (Coach, Table Tennis Academy) and Shahrin Shari (Senior Coach, Football Academy)

At Sports School, our commitment to sporting excellence extends beyond our student-athletes to our sports staff. They not only guide and mentor our student-athletes in sports, but also embrace a healthy and motivated lifestyle through active participation in local and overseas competitions. These endeavours have not only earned them medals and personal bests but also set a positive example for student-athletes

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The Senior General Manager of the Swimming Academy, Mr Chin Khen Theen, has a longstanding passion for Track and Field competitions. Even through his professional years, Mr Chin continued to participate in distance races and triathlons. In 2015, he registered for a Masters Track and Field event which reignited his love for the sport. With consistent training, he discovered that he could still sprint and compete with like-minded athletes in his age group. Since then, he has taken part in numerous competitions, including the Singapore Masters Track and Field Championships, Pesta Sukan, All Comers Meet and 12 other international meets in 8 countries.

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Recently, he returned from the 22nd Asia Masters Athletics Championship held in New Clark City, Philippines with numerous personal bests, new friendships, and invaluable experience.

Reflecting on his experience at the Championship, Mr Chin shared an inspiring anecdote of a 98-year-old Japanese athlete who completed the 100m event in 19.23s. More remarkably, he was also the World Indoor Record holder of the 200m (M90 – 94 Age Group) event.

“I am truly motivated by the camaraderie, commitment, and discipline of these senior athletes during training and competition. The friendships forged in my sporting journey were also invaluable, as they have helped me to stay focused and find breakthroughs in sports and in life,” he said.

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Coach Zhai Yu from the Table Tennis Academy also found motivation and joy in Table Tennis. Recently, he competed in the Dr Ng Eng Hen Cup - STTA Table Tennis Championships where he secured 3rd place in Men's Singles.

His motivation stems from his love for the sport, and he sees competitions as an opportunity to showcase his dedication to his student-athletes and children. By participating, he aims to understand his student-athletes' challenges on the court so that he can provide better support and demonstrate to them the importance of resilience in facing success and failure.

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“I wanted to challenge myself after not participating in official competitions for many years. To prepare for a competition, I must resume training at least two months in advance to restore physical fitness and adjust my mentality, and these take effort and discipline. Through my actions, I hope to demonstrate to my student-athletes and children my commitment and dedication to new competition opportunities,” shared Coach Zhai Yu.

Shahrin Shahrin, the Senior Coach of the Football Academy, is another sports staff who exemplifies that age is no barrier to sports participation. Engaging in the Singapore Open Enduro, a mountain bike race, Shahrin emerged as the victor in the veteran's category.

“I have been a volunteer in previous editions of the competition. I was motivated by the racers, the action and support generated by the racers and biking community. I was driven to prepare myself, train and compete to the best of my ability,” shared Coach Shahrin.

Having previously participated in races in New Zealand and Malaysia, Coach Shahrin views mountain biking as a means of staying healthy, finding tranquillity in nature, and balancing the demands of his coaching responsibilities.

“Mountain biking allows me to be out in the trails and woods, working out to stay healthy and fit. It is something I always enjoy doing and helps me cope when I work, both on and off the pitch. I also find calm and peace of mind whenever I ride,” said the mountain bike enthusiast.

The diverse range of sports and achievements among the sports staff at Sports School reflects a holistic approach to sports and wellness. Their stories contribute to the vibrant sports culture within the institution and serve as powerful motivators for the student-athletes to pursue their own dreams and passions.

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