SINGAPORE - He nearly gave the award ceremony a miss due to his ongoing A level examinations.
In the end, however, Victoria Junior College student Jarryl Chan did not regret taking some time off from his books as he was unveiled as the boys' winner of The New Paper School Sports Star Award at Bowen Secondary School on Monday.
With Minister for Education Heng Swee Keat gracing the event as Guest-of-Honour, the ceremony at the Hougang-based school brought this year's award, which saw 10 boys and 10 girls in the running, to an exciting conclusion.
Unlike in previous years, the identities of 2013's winners - including that of the S Soocelaraj Award for teacher-coaches - were a closely-guarded secret until the trophy and certificate presentation where the big announcement was made.
Singapore football legend Fandi Ahmad was also present to share his sporting experiences with the audience as an ambassador for award sponsor H-TWO-O.
While he ended up walking away with the top prize of $3,000, Jarryl believed at first that he would take home one of the eight finalists' cheques worth $500 instead.
"It was really unexpected," said the hockey and floorball player, who did a personal double when he won both A Division titles for his school this year.
"When I was asked about the name I would like to put on my cheque, I was only expecting to finish as runner-up. "I just came down today for the experience and I have no regrets because I saw Mr Heng and I took a photo with Fandi Ahmad."
Bowen football captain Sasi Kala Tamang emerged as the girls' winner and Raffles Institution (RI) teacher-coach for football Leong Chee Mun took home the S Soocelaraj Award, which was presented by the Soilbuild Group.