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Recognising Rising Sport Talents

Annabel Pennefather Excellence Award and Tan Howe Liang Excellence Award

At the last Awards Night in 2021, two new Excellence Awards were introduced – the Annabel Pennfather Excellence Award and Tan Howe Liang Excellence Award. Both awards were launched in the name of local sport icons, to recognise graduating student-athletes who have excelled in sport, and show commitment in their sport development.

The recipients of the Annabel Pennefather Excellence Award, which is sponsored by the International Women’s Forum and managed by Community Foundation of Singapore, is Cheung Kemei (Fencing) and Jaslyn Hooi Yue Yann (Badminton). The recipient of the Tan Howe Liang Excellence Award is Chan Phu Xien (Fencing). It is sponsored by the Singapore Olympic Foundation.

Annabel Pennfather Excellence Award

Annabel Pennfather Excellence Award recipients: Jaslyn Hooi Yue Yann (left) and Cheung Kemei

Cheung Kemei

Cheung Kemei may just be 16 years old, but already has several achievements under her belt. Last year, she qualified to participate in the World Junior and Cadet Fencing Championships, and Asian Junior & Cadet Fencing Championships, but Singapore decided not to send a team for the former while the latter was cancelled due to COVID-19. Kemei has had an outstanding year at local national and age-group competitions. The foilist punched above her weight to win a gold at the Singapore Senior Championships in February. She also won another gold medal for the U17 Women’s Foil Individual at the Singapore Cadet Nationals, a silver each at the Singapore Senior Tournament and Singapore Senior Challenge, 2 bronze medals in U20 Women’s Foil Individual at the Singapore Junior Nationals and Singapore Junior Challenge and a bronze at the Singapore Senior Nationals.

Her eyes are set on making it to the final list of competitors for the upcoming SEA Games. Though there is a long list of contenders for coveted spots, Kemei stands a good chance of qualifying for the Southeast Asian Games (SEA) this year. She also hopes to represent Singapore at the 2022 Asian Games.

Kemei is currently in Singapore Sports School’s International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP). As Kemei aspires to spend more time balancing her fencing and studies, she has opted to take up the extended IBDP, a partnership provision by International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) and World Academy of Sport (WAoS). This allows her to pursue her sporting goals while completing the IBDP in three years instead of the usual two years.

Kemei is determined to fly the Singapore flag high at the Olympic Games in the future.

Jaslyn Hooi Yue Yann

Shuttler Jaslyn Hooi Yue Yann is a national athlete on the rise. She first represented Singapore at the Youth Olympic Games in 2018 in Buenos Aires where she finished 4th in the Women’s Singles. Since then, Jaslyn has participated and won a bronze at the 2019 SEA Games, and is set to take on the region’s best at the SEA Games this year.

In September 2021, she claimed the Women’s Singles title at the Polish International, making it the best win in her career thus far. Among one of the top local shuttlers, Jaslyn won the Women’s Singles title at the Singapore National Open Championships consecutively in 2020 and 2021.

Jaslyn joined Singapore Sports School in Secondary 1, before moving on to the Diploma in Business Studies (DBS) course offered jointly with Ngee Ann Polytechnic. She extended the completion of her Diploma programme to pursue her badminton career seriously while working towards equipping herself with a Diploma certificate. Besides being an outstanding national athlete, Jaslyn is also a conscientious student-athlete in class. She graduated in May 2021 with an impressive 3.8 GPA score. Since completing her Diploma programme, Jaslyn has been playing badminton full-time.

She aspires to play well in bigger tournaments this year and to make it to the Top 50. Her ultimate goal is to make it to the 2024 Olympic Games, and is determined to give her best effort to make her dream come true.

Tan Howe Liang Excellence Award

Chan Phu Xien


Chan Phu Xien is one of the top sabre fencers in Singapore. What is outstanding is Phu Xien’s strong drive in the pursuit of excellence and his courage to undertake new challenges. He is not deterred by uncertainties in life and is always determined to realise his full potential with optimism and an open mind. The coaches have high praises for him and deem him as a student-athlete with excellent potential to excel in fencing. He would always go the extra mile in training to achieve his goals amidst his hectic academic demands. He always stays focused and has been consistently performing well in national and international competitions, including clinching gold medals in Men's Sabre at the Singapore Senior Tournament and Singapore Senior Nationals in 2021. He also won silver medals at the Singapore Senior Challenge and Singapore Junior Challenge last year.

In addition, he was selected to represent Singapore at the Asian as well as World Junior and Cadet Fencing Championships in 2020 and 2021 but the former was cancelled while Singapore decided not to send a team for the latter due to COVID-19. He will make his debut at the upcoming SEA Games.

Despite his sporting commitments, Phu Xien achieved a near-perfect score of 44 points out of a maximum of 45 points for the International Baccaulaureate Diploma Programme.

On top of his dedication to sports and studies, Phu Xien also took up leadership responsibilities during this time at Sports School, such as being an Academy Captain in 2019 and the Vice-Chairperson for the IBDP Year One Orientation 2021.

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