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Roanne Delivers Lessons From A Champion

Lessons From The Champion Series: Roanne Ho Ru’En


A four-year hiatus from 2010 to 2013, collapsed lung and torn shoulder failed to stop her from returning to the sport. Roanne Ho Ru’En came back each time – and came back stronger than before. It was her passion for the sport, and her desire to be the best at what she does, that keeps her going thourhg each day and each session.

The former Singapore Sports School student-athlete returned on 14 January 2019 as part of Sports School’s Lessons From The Champions series, to inspire and motivate her juniors at Sports School through her story of resilience and struggles through even her daily regime.

Roanne’s struggles with physical ailments and injuries is not a story that is unheard of. In 2016, the national breaststroke specialist suffered from a bad cough which turned out to be a collapsed right lung which required surgery. This discovery caused her to miss the final chance to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The same year, Roanne underwent another surgery; this time to repair her shoulder. Yet, these failed to keep her away from the pool as she goes on to qualify for the Kuala Lumpur 2017 Southeast Asian Games and win the Women’s 50m Breaststroke at the biennial Games in style – with new Games and National Records and qualification for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games in April. Four months later, she clocked another record-breaking swim at the Jakarta-Palembang 2018 Asian Games to win a silver medal. She was Singapore’s first medallist in the discipline.

Throughout her struggles, Roanne was grateful for her support system – those who remained by her side and offered encouragement as she picked herself up. As she shared her journey with student-athletes and staff at Sports School, she imparted some lessons to the budding athletes as they chase their dreams.

Firstly, she reminded that “failure is a bruise, not a tattoo”; it is not permanent as long as one pushes past the low point in his career. Next, she touched on accepting setbacks and reaching out to family, friends, coaches, and others for help in overcoming them. Finally, she stressed the importance of focusing on bettering oneself, instead of comparing with others, as constant comparison evokes negative thoughts and emotions.