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Alumnus Champions For Sports
Alumni Feature: Loh Guo Pei
Former national sprinter and hurdler, Loh Guo Pei, first got in touch with the sport when he was in Secondary 1 back in 2004. He was in a mainstream school then where he joined the Track and Field team out of interest, and he was hoping to challenge himself to become the fastest-running schoolboy.
He soon became more ambitious. “I began to become serious in training when I started to see myself progressing in the sport. At the National School Games, I was surprised to see myself achieving a podium finish, and breaking my running record. It boosted my confidence and encouraged me to want to achieve more at a higher level,” shared Guo Pei.
His coach saw his potential and suggested that he joins Singapore Sports School to further his dream of representing Singapore at the youth and Southeast Asian Games level. He made the switch when he was in Secondary 3 to join Singapore Sports School’s Track and Field Academy in 2006.
“Having to juggle both academics and training was difficult for me when I was in a mainstream school. At Sports School, I was able to find a balance in both my studies and sporting commitments through the athlete-friendly curriculum. I was able to focus on my goals, and in a short two years, I moved up from the junior youth team to become a member of the senior team,” said the alumnus.
Besides that, it was motivating for Guo Pei to train alongside like-minded student-athletes with similar dreams and goals as him. To reap the full benefits of Sports School’s athlete-friendly structure, Guo Pei continued his post-secondary education by taking up the Diploma in Sports Management and Exercise Science course, a joint Sports School-Auckland University of Technology programme which started in 2006. The course saw its final cohort of student-athletes graduate in 2012. This put him on track towards his SEA Games dream. In 2013, Guo Pei was part of the Team Singapore’s Track and Field contingent that returned with eight medals from the 27th SEA Games held in Myanmar.
“Sports School has taught me greater discipline as an individual. I was able to stay focused on my goals, and push myself to achieve more in sport and in life,” shared Guo Pei, who is now a coach. Guo Pei hopes that through his coaching, he will be able to pass on his experience to youth athletes and help them become more skilled to be on top of their game.
Guo Pei’s influence goes beyond his trainees. He is also a Sport Singapore brand ambassador who inspires an active community and ignites sporting dreams and excellence through various outreach initiatives such as the 2020 ASICS Ekiden City Relay. Guo Pei also collaborated with The Straits Times to share tips on tackling running 175km for The Straits Times Virtual Run 2020. Through his articles, he hoped to encourage Singaporeans to pick up running in a fun and injury-free manner.
“As an athlete, I was prone to many recurring injuries. It was a morale dip for me, and I would always want to cut short the recovery process to get back into my competitive form as quickly as possible. Through my sharing, I hope Singaporeans will be able to lead a more active and healthy lifestyle while making sure that they start off on the right foot and stay injury-free,” said Guo Pei.
His advice to aspiring athletes: “Stay focused on your dreams, practice good time management, and maintain disciplined while pursuing your goals.”