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Parental Pillars Key In Izaac Quek’s Success

Parent Feature – Role of Parents in Sporting Success

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Written By
Kuk Hun Yi
Parent Education Advisor, Sporting Parents Network

At the time of writing this article, Izaac Quek, currently world-ranked No 56, is preparing to fly off from the training camp at Shimada (Japan) to Busan (Korea) where Team Singapore is competing this week for the World Team Table Tennis Championship.

But this is par for the course for Izaac as he is used to competing on a weekly basis in different parts of the world and living out of a suitcase. Indeed, Izaac, who is self-motivated, had taken a gap year from Singapore Sports School in 2023 in order to advance his table tennis career, and that decision appears to have paid dividends as Izaac has won a number of times (including 3 SEA Games gold medal titles) and has had numerous podium finishes during the year.

All this time, Izaac’s parents, Mr David Quek and Ms Chew Soon, have been constantly supporting him from the background, careful not to get too close to impinging on Izaac’s training with his coaches, but are always available in case he needs any support. Chew Soon, in particular, who previously had a career in early childhood education, left her previous job when Izaac was 11 years old in order to travel with him to tournaments. When family members do not travel with him, they make it a point to call or video call him every day to encourage and reassure him that he has their full support.

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David and Chew Soon feel that Singapore has a good system for developing players in table tennis as Izaac has benefited from the STTA system. From the age of 7 years old when Izaac first picked up table tennis, to joining the Bishan zonal center and progressing through the junior development squad, youth training squad, school-within-a-school programme (SWS) in Sports School, intermediate squad and finally the national squad, it has taken 8 years from Izaac first picking up a bat to being inducted into Singapore’s national team in 2021. Izaac initially joined Sports School through SWS, and in Chew Soon’s opinion, Sports School is definitely the right choice for Izaac. Throughout this journey, David and Chew Soon have worked closely with STTA and Sports School to support and resource Izaac at every step of the way.

In response to the question of what advice they would give parents with children who aspire to excel in table tennis, David and Chew Soon opined that parents with children keen on developing into top-level table tennis players should:
  • Start as early as possible, as aspiring table tennis players need to start developing muscle memory from 5- 6 years old;
  • Trust the system; and
  • Focus on the process, not the end result.

  • SSP_Feature_SPN Parent Support for Izaac Quek-1.jpg
    By providing constant encouragement and moral support and ensuring that they stay in contact before and after matches (even a phone call before competition can mean a lot), David and Chew Soon help ensure that Izaac maintains a positive mindset knowing that he has a strong support system.

    As we end the interview, the one message that continues to resonate is “trust the system”.

    We wish Izaac, David, Chew Soon, and their family every success along this path that they have taken and hope to see the Singapore flag flying for table tennis at the Paris Olympics.

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